Romanov hits back at SFA with 'slaves' jibe

VLADIMIR Romanov has hit back at the Scottish Football Association over the record £100,000 fine imposed on Hearts as punishment for the club's disciplinary record last season.

Hearts are to appeal the 100,000 penalty - 40,000 of which is suspended - which they claim fails to take into account a marked improvement in the disciplinary record.

The Tynecastle club had five red cards in the SPL last season, compared to ten the previous campaign.

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Hearts were fined 60,000 for their indiscipline during the 2009-10 season, and view last week's judgment as unduly harsh.

It was the seventh year in a row that the SFA's disciplinary committee has fined Hearts, and the majority shareholder claimed that the club is continually on the end of "unjustified decisions". One stormy clash with Dundee United at Tannadice on 2 January 2008, where three Hearts players were sent off - Marius Zaliukas, Lee Wallace and Michael Stewart - rankles with Romanov.

"If with this fine they want to camouflage all their unjustified decisions against Hearts throughout the season, then it is a normal practice for them - since it happens for the seventh year in a row," said the Tynecastle owner.

"For me, everything became evident sometime ago after that infamous match against Dundee (United] when three Hearts players were red-carded and three penalties were awarded against us.

"I am even grateful to the referee of that game for his eye-opening actions.

"That case revealed the true faces of the people devoid of brain and conscience.

"Unfortunately, the match officials still remain their slaves, while I had so much hoped that starting during this past season they were going to be set free."