Michael Stewart has responded to Craig Levein stinging outburst about the pundit’s observations.
The Heart of Midlothian boss confirmed that he had contacted the BBC’s head of sport Tom Connor to question what he perceived to be Stewart’s agenda against him.
The former Hearts midfielder has called Levein’s outburst “ironically extremely personal”.
Stewart has been an outspoken critic of the way the team has been playing. Most recently Stewart accused Levein of living in a “parallel universe” on BBC Sportsound after the Hearts manager claimed the team were “fantastic” in their goalless draw with Ross County last Saturday and that he hadn’t heard nay booing from the home fans.
Stewart, who played more than 100 times for Hearts, then provided analysis on Sunday’s Sportscene pointing out that the team were not creating good chances.
It led Levein to hit out at Stewart in his press conference ahead of the match with Hamilton Academical: “It is personal and he is just making a fool of himself. I don’t particularly like him and I hear he doesn’t like me.
“But somebody drew my attention to what he [Stewart] was saying after the game on Saturday, when we played well and had all those chances, and it got to the point where I thought ‘listen, if he can’t accept that and is still trying to pick holes in it, for me, it comes back to the BBC allowing him to do that’.
“I can take criticism if it’s fair and it’s based on something other than a grudge, but he’s going to self-combust one day!
“I’m actually not that bothered about Michael Stewart or what he says but I am annoyed at the BBC. For him to admit that he has an agenda and for them to still allow him that platform, for me, that is a nonsense.
“He is trying to whip up fans and as I say it is the BBC... they have allowed him that opportunity but I have had a conversation so we will see what happens.”
Levein also added that Stewart, who he signed on loan from Manchester United during the 2004/2005 season, was the “worst value for money I have ever had from any player”.
Stewart responded to Levein’s comments with a post on Twitter.
He said: “I can understand the pressure Craig is under but I am not going to respond to what he’s said, much of which is ironically extremely personal and very surprising to see it come from someone who holds such an important position within a prestigious club like Hearts.
“It also does not merit any kind of response in any case. My job is to say what I see and I will continue to do that without fear or favour. I sincerely hope Craig can turn things round at Hearts, but it’s certainly a very big job.”