Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov feels Rangers should be punished for their financial misdemeanors

HEARTS have made a staunch declaration of their intent to vote against newco Rangers being readmitted to the SPL.

In a statement released on the club’s website, majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov lambasted the Ibrox club for their financial profligacy and accused them of helping to “destroy Scottish football.”

Dundee United have also revealed they will vote no on July 4, when SPL clubs convene to consider newco Rangers’ application to join the SPL. All of which leaves the Ibrox club’s hopes of remaining in Scotland’s top flight hanging by a thread — since they require an 8-4 majority vote in their favour.

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“The opinion of Heart of Midlothian FC in regards to the current situation of Scottish football is clear and robust,” said Romanov. “The football mafia represented by former owners of Rangers FC and Rupert Murdoch’s media are to blame for some of the worst problems to hit Scottish football and must not be allowed back in under any circumstances.

“As regards the club itself, we can only express our deepest condolences to its supporters, who have been lied to for so many years. It had to happen sooner or later. Victories were achieved not by sporting merits, but through slander, conspiracies amongst players and their poaching via third parties and by unfair pressuring of referees, who themselves are as valuable to the fabric of football as the football stars themselves.

“All of this brought hollow victories and destroyed football. We can also mention the attempts to eliminate Hearts with the help of the tax petitions, through false accusations and threats to revoke the club licence. There is a saying about digging a grave for someone – you get it for yourself. Without these people football will become cleaner and stronger. Without Murdoch the whole of society will improve, in particular sport and culture. Supporters deserve a new beginning and have to accept the fact that their club has to start from the lower league, keeping order in the SPL and without creating unfair competition with other clubs.

“As regards the pitiful state of Scottish football finances, a lot of the blame should be placed at the doors of Murdoch’s media. They pay huge sums to English clubs, whilst in Scotland, where football is better supported per capita than anywhere else in Europe and there are more cable or Sky subscribers per capita than in England, clubs receive peanuts for their broadcasting rights.

“At the very least this is discrimination and protectionism for the English football product, which at the same time stunts the development of the game in Scotland, that is regarded as the cradle of football.

“I feel that it is absolutely realistic to create a company that would bring to Scottish clubs at least the same broadcasting income, and even grow it by 50-100 per cent over the next two to three years. This company should be in the hands of Scottish clubs and work with those who want to earn money the honest way, instead of conducting business the Murdoch way.

“They have lived beyond law and all morals, and should now be declared beyond the pale. A society that allows the destruction of integrity in sport, which is a crucial part of Scottish culture, is destroying itself — and all for the benefit of a media aborigine.”

Meanwhile, John McGlynn has spoken of his honour at being considered for the Hearts manager’s position. He was interviewed by Tynecastle officials yesterday but is only one of several names on the club’s shortlist.

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“To be in the frame for a job as big as the Hearts one is an honour, and it is good of them to consider me,” said McGlynn yesterday. “They have chosen to speak to me, so it’s obvious that I am under consideration, but it’s not wise to make any assumptions.

“I have always enjoyed a good relationship with Hearts and I am delighted they think I would be a worthy candidate, but for the moment I can only wait by the phone.

“If Hearts decide to go in a different direction then I will continue my work with a great club, Raith Rovers. I’m getting on with my job at Raith Rovers, and that has to be my philosophy.

“I’ve been in this game long enough to know things can change and, until my name is on a contract which says I am Hearts manager, I will continue my work here.”