Dundee United chief says Robbie Neilson has made 'sideways' move to Hearts as he refutes bigger club claims
Dundee United’s sporting director Tony Asghar has questioned Robbie Neilson’s decision to take a step back to manage in the Championship once more.
The Tannadice chief feels the move back to Hearts is a “sideways” one.
The 40-year-old had previously managed Hearts for two-and-a-half seasons, winning the Championship and taking the side into Europe, which followed a long playing connection with the club.
He led Dundee United back into the top tier, but has now swapped that for the likelihood of at least another year in the Championship.
“I’m just surprised that he has taken the step to go back to manage in the Championship,” Asghar told The Courier. “Would I see it differently if Hearts were in the Premiership? Not necessarily.
“I’m surprised he’s gone sideways. I think if he was going to move from our club, he would have gone to a bigger club.
“If his thought process was to have another go in England or to try abroad, I could understand that. So it’s surprising to me that he’s gone back but you never know how people will react when someone asks them to come.”
Asghar also refuted suggestions that Hearts are a bigger club than Dundee United.
He said: “Bigger clubs don’t always mean the ones with bigger finances. Do you define bigger as fan-based or by what league you are playing in?
“Bigger can also mean having the best values, the better ability to make players better, to be successful within the leagues.
“As I say, we’re in the Premiership and they are in the Championship.”