Hearts 'could be powerless to stop Campbell Ogilvie leaving' for SFA post

SERGEJUS FEDOTOVAS admitted today that Hearts may be powerless to prevent Campbell Ogilvie leaving Tynecastle should the SFA make an official approach in their search for a new chief executive.

• Ogilvie (left) has been tipped as a potential successor to Gordon Smith

As revealed in yesterday's Evening News, Ogilvie is amongst the contenders to replace Gordon Smith, who resigned from the position on Monday for personal reasons.

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Other candidates include Lex Gold, the former SPL chairman, and Keith Wyness, previously chief executive of Aberdeen and Everton.

Fedotovas contacted Ogilvie, Hearts' managing director, yesterday regarding the SFA's interest in his services. Praising him as a man of honesty and integrity, the Lithuanian director said the final decision in the event of any overtures from Hampden will rest with Ogilvie.

"Obviously, Campbell has a lot of knowledge and is of great benefit to Hearts," said Fedotovas, a Tynecastle director and board member of Hearts' parent company, Ukio Bankas Investment Group. "He is an honest man who gives a lot to the club. I've spoken to him but this will remain private. The final point is that it's his decision and it's his personal situation. I don't know if he will be considering it or not, this is something for him to decide. It is something out of my control."

Asked if he would attempt to persuade Ogilvie to remain at Tynecastle if the SFA' s pursuit intensified, Fedotovas replied: "That is not something I want to speak about. It is something private and confidential for the club."

Ogilvie is currently the SFA's first vice-president and therefore is in line to replace George Peat as association president. However, his astute administration skills and respected reputation within the corridors of UEFA make him a prime candidate for the role of chief executive.

Whether he would welcome the intense public scrutiny which accompanies the job is another matter. Vladimir Romanov, Hearts' majority shareholder, today cautioned Ogilvie against joining the SFA full-time. "It is useless to change the faces while the system remains the same," said Romanov.

"Campbell is an honest person and experienced professional. But the system of Scottish football may turn any angel into a villain."

The SFA are due to finalise a shortlist of candidates to succeed Smith at their next board meeting.