Billy Brown slams Michael Stewart over ‘personal’ punditry

Brown didn't take too kindly to Stewart's criticism of former Hearts boss Gary Locke. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Brown didn't take too kindly to Stewart's criticism of former Hearts boss Gary Locke. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Former Hearts assistant manager Billy Brown has slated BBC pundit and former Tynecastle captain Michael Stewart for perceived “personal” attacks on the club’s management team during Gary Locke’s tenure as boss.

The two men featured on an episode of the BBC Sportsound podcast where the debate of punditry in football was discussed.

It quickly became heated with presenter Kenny Macintyre later stating that a large chunk of the programme had to be edited out.

Brown took exception to comments Stewart had made during the 2013/14 season about Hearts, who were relegated from the Scottish Premiership under Locke.

Brown was Locke’s assistant at the time and felt Stewart had let a personal grievance with the Hearts manager dictate his opinions on the team.

When asked why Stewart was an unpopular pundit in Scottish football circles, Brown said: “Because he comes over as a know-it-all. He’s not done anything. He’s never been a coach. He professes to know where players should be in certain situations, he’s never had to coach that. He doesn’t know what it takes, what you need to run a team, what you need to run a club.”

When Stewart tried to defend himself, Brown added: “I never heard another pundit, during the time at Hearts, say the things that you were saying. Michael Stewart had a go at Gary Locke.”

Stewart later insisted it was Brown who was the one making it personal, that his opinion of the 2013/14 Hearts team, crippled by administration and a signing embargo, was based solely on the evidence on the park.

Stewart said: “It upsets this individual because he was involved in it. My opinion was the team wasn’t set up properly. My two eyes are what forms my opinion. I say what I see. That is the fundamental basis that I come out with. He’s entitled to his opinion, he’s entitled to be upset, but don’t make it personal about me.”

The two worked together briefly at Hearts during the second half of the 2009/10 season after Brown, along with manager Jim Jeffries with Gary Locke as first team coach, returned to the club following the departure of Csaba Laszlo. Stewart would leave the club at the end of the season.

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