Billy Davies: I wanted Austin MacPhee to go but Hearts job beneath me

Billy Davies gave the Hearts board a list of demands which included the removal of Austin MacPhee. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Billy Davies gave the Hearts board a list of demands which included the removal of Austin MacPhee. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
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Despite interviewing for the Hearts head coach position before the appointment of Craig Levein, Billy Davies told The Times that the club are beneath him.

In a wide-ranging interview where the Scot railed against what he perceives is a smear campaign against him, purported by a PR company, Davies spoke of his desire to get back into management, but not at a club he deems below his standing.

“I will not jump back in to a St Mirren, a Dundee United, a Hearts, with all due respect to these clubs. I know I am a very good football manager. I will not jump back into football and take a job that is beneath me.”

However, Davies appeared to contradict himself when he talked about his interview with the Hearts hierarchy.

While he did not want the removal of Craig Levein from the director of football role, he did request that Austin MacPhee and Liam Fox be removed and Jon Daly dropped down to the under-20s.

“I gave them a wonderful presentation. But the tricky bit came when I put the staffing structure to them. Contrary to reports I did not ask for the removal of Craig Levein. I get on well with Craig. I just identified a different remit for him that I felt would be good for our working relationship.

“If I hadn’t asked for Jon Daly to go back to the under-20s, and for the removal of Austin MacPhee, and the removal of Liam Fox, and for Craig Levein to go to the side and take charge of the structure...had I not asked for all of that I’d be the new manager of Hearts.

“We had a great chat. But they did not want to removed Austin MacPhee, or put Jon Daly back down to where he should go.”