BRUTAL as last Monday’s staff cull at Tynecastle was, the bigger surprise for many was Craig Levein’s apparent re-invention as a doyen of football management.
It is unclear what he bases this self-styled persona on. Yes, there were some promising moments with Dundee United and during his previous spell at Hearts, but with both Leicester City and – I shudder to recall it – Scotland, he could hardly have been less successful.
Following the Scotland debacle one might have expected a more humble Levein to emerge from the wreckage of two abysmal qualifying campaigns, yet he now appears to regard the role of managing a mere Championship club as beneath a man of his stature – hence the lofty director of football title.
For Levein to have been handed what appears to be total control of all football matters at Hearts seems quite a leap of faith by those responsible for appointing him.
Equally surprising was the news that “reluctant footsoldier” Ian Murray, far from stepping down from a role he once claimed would only last three months, is now cementing his connections with the club yet further by joining the board!
Sackings of Locke and Lennon despicable
THE decisions last Monday to sack Gary Locke as manager of Hearts and Danny Lennon manager at St Mirren are as inexplicable as they are callous.
Locke ran the club with one arm tied behind his back, what with the 15-point penalty and a team largely of youngsters. He had the support of the players and fans and would have attained mid-table respectability in ordinary circumstances.
Hearts would have arguably been Championship favourites. After this inauspicious start to the Ann Budge era that may no longer be true.
Danny Lennon gave provincial St Mirren the League Cup, their first trophy in more than 20 years. He kept them safely in the Premiership and was bringing talented youngsters through. What did St Mirren, the club which famously sacked Sir Alex Ferguson, such was their foresightedness in the past, expect? They clearly have ideas well above their station.
These despicable decisions may yet bite both these boards on the backside.
Holding breath over Hibs’ play-off hopes
I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with David Bruce (Sport Letters, 12 May), who summed up my feelings since the departure of John Collins. Perhaps we can have a week of silence from the manager and players at Hibs and 120 minutes of action in the play-off games! Save your breath, you will need it against a well-organised and motivated team. I’m worried already.
Fall of big clubs has left top-flight in sad state
I HAVE been a Hibs fan for most of my life and can’t belief what is going is happening to Scottish football. Rangers and Hearts in debt and Hibs ready to join them by getting relegated. It’s a sorry state of affairs, the Premiership without three of the top teams.
Distribution of play-off cash seems unfair
WHY should the teams playing in the Championship and League 1 share half of the money raised in play-off games, the other half going to the SPFL?
If Dunfermline had gained promotion they would have had games against Rangers, Hearts and maybe Hibernian, giving larger crowds in the Championship, but the team making the rise to the Premiership will miss out on these large crowds without sharing the cash made in these games.
As someone who was lucky enough to attend the Falkirk v Queen of the South game, I feel we are being short-changed by the SPFL. Will this change? l think not.
McLeod deserved better tribute from BBC
You have to be congratulated on your coverage of the sad news of the passing of the late Hugh McLeod in the issue of 14 May. Both David Ferguson’s appreciation in the sports section and Martin Hannan’s obituary deserve the highest praise.
This is much more than can be said for BBC Scotland who barely gave a mention to the passing of one of the greatest rugby players there has been, not only in Scotland but worldwide.
Not for the first time the myopic approach to Scottish sport by the so-called national broadcaster leaves much to be desired.
West Albert Road