London Hearts Supporters Club

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Hearts fans stunned as top two executives leave club

RAYMOND DUNCAN November 01 2005

SHOCK and disbelief last night greeted the departure of two more high-profile figures from Hearts just a week after their manager walked out.

Phil Anderton, chief executive, and George Foulkes, chairman, left Tynecastle – with Roman Romanov, the son of Vladimir Romanov, the majority shareholder, taking up both roles.

According to a statement issued to the Stock Exchange, the role of Mr Anderton "ceased to be", while Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, the Labour politician and an ardent defender of the Lithuanian businessman, had resigned his post.

Vladimir Romanov's desire for control has been cited as one of the factors that led to the departure of manager George Burley. It remains to be seen if it has contributed to a fall-out with Lord Foulkes and Mr Anderton.

Through a spokesman, Mr Romanov said: "They've had over one year and not been able to do the things I've wanted to do for Hearts. They've had the funds and all my energy but I've not had the response I've wanted."

Mr Romanov reiterated his intention to turn the Gorgie club into a force in European football. He said: "I have no intention of walking away from Hearts at this time."

Outside the stadium last night Maitland Thomson, a 53-year-old supporter from the Fairmilehead area of Edinburgh, said police had questioned waiting fans about whether they were part of an organised protest.

"I don't think that we could muster a chant between us because we are so stunned. We are wandering around like lost souls. It's like a morgue around here," he said.

William Hill, 43, a member of the Craigmillar Hearts Club, said: "When we lost George Burley it was like a death in the family.

"We feel we have another two deaths tonight. The mood of the camp is shock."

Eric Milligan, a former lord provost of Edinburgh and long-time Jambo, said he too was stunned.

"I have no idea what is happening down at Tynecastle. Other than Vladimir Romanov I'm not quite sure whether anyone else knows. We are on a roller-coaster."

Alex Salmond, SNP leader and a Hearts fan, said Mr Romanov was living up to his nickname of "Vlad the Impaler".

"He used to be in the Russian navy and I would advise him to set a course for calmer waters."

Taken from the Herald

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