London Hearts Supporters Club

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Jankauskas Edgaras [G Buezelin 78] ;[G O'Connor 80]
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Vladimir Romanov insists Phil Anderton and George Foulkes fell short of expectations after a dramatic day ended with the Hearts chief executive and chairman leaving the Edinburgh club.

According to a statement issued to the Stock Exchange, Anderton has "ceased to be" the chief executive while Foulkes has resigned.

The statement confirmed Romanov's son, Roman Romanov, as Foulkes' replacement as chairman. He will also assume the title of chief executive "on a temporary basis... pending a further appointment".

The dramatic development comes just over a week after George Burley left the manager's job at Tynecastle and just over 24 hours after Hearts were knocked off the top of the Bank of Scotland Premier League by Celtic.

Through a spokesman, Romanov told Reporting Scotland: "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."

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."
Burley's exit caused little disquiet among the Hearts supporters even though the former Ipswich manager, recruited by Romanov, had been responsible for an extraordinary unbeaten run which took the Gorgie side to the top of the SPL.

But the departure of two more high profile figures - hard on the heels of a 2-0 reverse to city rivals Hibernian which constituted a first league defeat - is likely to cause greater consternation.

Although Romanov asserts Anderton has had over a year in the job, he was only appointed as chief executive in March after departing from a similar job at Scottish Rugby Union in January.

As a Hearts fan, Foulkes' interest in the club is longer standing and the former Labour MP, now a peer, was appointed chairman in April, 2004.

The 58-year-old Romanov recently upped his share in Hearts to 55.5% and made an offer of 35p per share for the remaining 44.5%.

He gave day-to-day responsibility for the investment vehicle he is using in his bid to take Hearts into private ownership - Heart of Midlothian 2005 - to his son Roman, who was already a director but who will now take a more prominent place at the club.

Vladimir Romanov became the largest shareholder at Hearts in February and his arrival has seen substantial investment in the playing staff, relatively speaking for a club which had been struggling with mounting debts which prompted plans for the sale of Tynecastle.

Foulkes has been an ardent advocate for Romanov, saying on the announcement of Romanov's bid to buy up every Hearts share: "Mr Romanov has already done a huge amount for the club as the principal shareholder. How much more can he do as the owner?

"I would argue that anyone in his position, who is planning to invest huge amounts of money in further player acquisitions in January and the development of the ground, would want the comfort of being in control. I know I certainly would."

The Lithuanian's desire for control has been cited as one of the factors which led to Burley's departure.

It remains to be seen if it has contributed to a fall-out with Foulkes and Anderton but the sympathies of Kilmarnock boss Jim Jefferies, formerly a manager of Hearts, are with the club's fans.

"The supporters must wonder what's going on at the club," he said.

"They've had a great start to the league, they had a good manager in place and everything seemed to be going along fine for them. It looked like it could be a good year for them.

"Then in a space of a week there's mayhem."

Taken from

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