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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 18:05 GMT
Hearts in turmoil as duo depart
Former Hearts chairman George Foulkes
The Lithuanians tried to twist my arm into going along with sacking Phil Anderton. I find the ruthlessness unacceptable
Former Hearts chairman George Foulkes
Hearts are facing yet more upheaval after chairman George Foulkes and chief executive Phil Anderton both dramatically left the club on Monday.

Foulkes resigned from his position and did so, he has revealed, in direct protest at the Tynecastle club's decision to sack Anderton.

Their departures come less than two weeks after manager George Burley left.

A statement confirmed Roman Romanov, son of majority shareholder Vladimir, will replace Foulkes as chairman.

He will also assume the title of chief executive "on a temporary basis... pending a further appointment".

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

Foulkes said he had become "totally disillusioned" with Lithuanian Vladimir Romanov and the way decisions were being made at the club.

"I'm devastated at the way in which some of my colleagues on the board took a decision against my advice to sack Phil Anderton as chief executive," he said.

"I was unhappy last week about the sacking of George Burley but we got bounced into it and we had to go along with it.

"And this weekend we get another situation where all weekend we've had the Lithuanians trying to twist my arm into going along with the sacking of Phil Anderton.

"I just don't want to be part of that. I just find the ruthlessness unacceptable."

Vladimir Romanov revealed he did not think Foulkes and Anderton had done a good enough job for the club.

"They've had over one year and not been able to do the things I've wanted to do for Hearts," he said.

"They've had the funds and all my energy but I've not had the response I've wanted.

"I have no intention of walking away from Hearts at this time."

BBC Radio Five Live's Roddy Forsyth said there had been no suggestion their exits were in the offing when he spoke to both Foulkes and Anderton on Sunday.

Foulkes had in fact an ardent defender of Romanov when it was revealed the banker wanted 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?" said Foulkes on 21 October.

"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."

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

The departure of the club's two senior officials is the latest twist in a turbulent 10 days for the club since manager George Burley left citing "irreconcilable differences" with the Tynecastle board.

Indeed, the pair had been heading up the search for Burley's replacement.

Burley was reportedly upset with the interference from Romanov, who launched a bid to take full control of the club the day before Burley's departure.

The team's unbeaten start to the season came to an end on Saturday when they were beaten 2-0 by Edinburgh rivals Hibernian and lost the leadership of the Scottish Premier league to Celtic.

Sir Bobby Robson and Claudio Ranieri have been among those in the frame for the vacant manager's job, though Ranieri ruled himself out of the running on Sunday.


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