Craig Levein and Austin MacPhee officially leave Hearts

Ties with Tynecastle end as pair’s contracts expire

Craig Levein's third spell at Tynecastle has come to an end. Picture: SNS.
Craig Levein's third spell at Tynecastle has come to an end. Picture: SNS.

Craig Levein and Austin MacPhee have officially left Hearts following the expiry of their contracts.

Both men had agreements expiring yesterday, and have now parted company with the Edinburgh club.

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Levein, pictured, was sacked as manager last October with Hearts bottom of the Premiership, leaving assistant coach MacPhee in temporary charge until Daniel Stendel’s appointment in December.

Levein and MacPhee worked in background roles at the club’s Riccarton training base in recent months. With their contracts finished, they have severed ties and are now free agents.

Both accepted wage cuts as coronavirus forced Scottish football into shutdown in March, with Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge moving swiftly to reduce costs in all departments of the club.

The parting of ways ends Levein’s third spell at Tynecastle Park. He played as a central defender for Hearts from 1983 to 1997 before being forced to retire early through injury.

He returned as manager in 2000 and left for Leicester City four years later.

In 2014, Budge brought Levein back to Gorgie as director of football. She gave him authority to run the entire operation at Riccarton as Hearts emerged from a year-long administration process.

Levein then took on the additional role of manager once again in August 2017 following the sacking of head coach Ian Cathro. The former Scotland manager was removed from both positions last October as Hearts fell to the bottom of the league.

MacPhee was initially appointed Cathro’s assistant in December 2016 but was retained as a coach under Levein. He was interim manager earlier this season in between Levein’s sacking and Stendel’s appointment five weeks later.

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Meanwhile, Clevid Dikamona has wished Hearts fans farewell after conceding his Tynecastle career had come to an end.

The centre-back returned to France in March after opting to terminate his contract when given the option as the club tried to instigate wage cuts across the squad, but stated he wanted to return to Edinburgh. Just last week, he reiterated his desire to continue playing for the club, but now the 29-year-old defender admits his time in Gorgie is over.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “I cannot remain silent, thank you for all the love you gave me during these 2 seasons and since I returned to France, I never thought I would end this experience this way but it is life who decided so....”

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