Vladimir Romanov rants at referees and claims he almost bought Liverpool
HEARTS owner Vladimir Romanov last night launched yet another withering attack on Scottish referees, accusing them of benefitting financially from the Old Firm.
The Tynecastle club have fallen foul of Scottish football’s authorities for failing to pay their players on time on several occasions, face an upcoming HMRC tax case and have serious financial issues.
However, none of that seems to bother Romanov, who chose to dwell on what he believes are the failings of Scottish officials. In an interview with Russian newspaper Izvestia, the controversial Baltic businessman had another blast at the Scottish game He said: “Sport has become showbusiness. I went to Scotland and bought a football team and I thought it wouldn’t be like that there. But no, it’s the same everywhere. No democracy. The referees there take money out of the top two teams and we expect them to judge fairly. Scottish referees have to love Rangers and Celtic. Otherwise, it’s the end of their career and they go down to the lower leagues. But it isn’t possible to change the situation there.
“You try to fight the system, but the machine breaks you. As soon as I said what I thought, the mafia creeps up on you. If you try and break their showbusiness structure there, everyone turns against you and then your team has to fight the whole system.”
Romanov has launched into several rants about Scottish referees and the media in the past. In October 2006, Hearts were fined £10,000 by the SFA for bringing the game into disrepute after further criticism of match officials. A £25,000 fine from the Scottish Premier League followed in February 2007 after accusations of the “buying off” of match officials and the club were fined £100,000 last year for their poor disciplinary record.
Meanwhile, Romanov claimed again that he almost bought Liverpool last year. He explained: “I had the opportunity to buy Liverpool for as little as £200 million. Frankly, I then got scared. After a few days, the price had gone to three times that value and I realised that missed my chance. I already own Hearts in Edinburgh and the Scottish football fans and the public love me.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North east