Vladimir Romanov ‘has stroke’ amid fraud claims

Vladimir Romanov has reportedly taken ill. Picture: SNS
Vladimir Romanov has reportedly taken ill. Picture: SNS
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HEARTS fans have sent their best wishes to Vladimir Romanov after reports he had suffered a stroke.

He is understood to have fallen ill while in Moscow, but has already left hospital following treatment.

The Tynecastle supremo has since told news outlets in Lithuania that he has no plans to return to the country, where he faces allegations of embezzlement and fraud following the collapse of Ukio Bankas.

His doctors are believed to have sent a medical certificate to Lithuania’s Financial Crime Investigation Service, but prosecutor Simon Minkevicius claimed the documents did not contain all of the required information. He said: “The certificate is missing some required particulars and does not meet our requirements. It raises a certain amount of doubt.

“The medical certificate must have medical institution stamps, but some data is missing.

“Mr Romanov has promised to send a further medical document, then we will deal with the next steps.”

Hearts fans forum Jambo’s Kickback was awash with messages wishing him a speedy recovery and called for the team to beat Hibs in the derby on Sunday for Mr Romanov.

May Taylor wrote: “Awful news, get well soon Mr Romanov. A derby victory would be the perfect medicine.” Another fan said “I will be singing his song this Sunday” and “Get well soon Vladimir. You’ll be back swimming Loch Ness in no time, champ”, in reference to a feat he completed two years ago.

The news follows the ruling last week that bankruptcy proceedings should commence against Hearts’ main creditor, Ukio Bankas, leading to fears that the £15 million owed by Hearts would be called in straight away.

The bank has ten days from last Thursday to appeal the decision after debts of more than £300m forced the Central Bank of Lithuania to suspend it from trading.

Mr Romanov controls Hearts through 79 per cent of the shares in the club owned by his holding company, UBIG, which the Capital club also owes £10m.

Hearts were unavailable for comment last night.