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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 06:58 GMT
Hearts remain quiet on Ivanauskas
Valdas Ivanauskas celebrates winning the Scottish Cup
Ivanauskas steered Hearts to a Scottish Cup success
Hearts are refusing to confirm or deny reports that Valdas Ivanauskas is to step down from his head coach position and take over as director of football.

At the Edinburgh club's AGM, chairman Roman Romanov declined to comment.

But BBC Scotland understands that the Edinburgh side could have a new manager before Monday night's Premier League trip to Motherwell.

Former Lithuania national coach Kestutis Latoza has been linked with the role of head coach.

Any new manager will not be handed full control over team selection, according to the chairman, son of owner Vladimir Romanov.

Romanov junior told shareholders: "Maybe a coach will get 50 or 60% control, but definitely not 100%.

"We won't play players who don't have a long-term contract. We don't want to develop players to move on to Rangers or Celtic."

And, according to Vladimir Romanov's spokesman, Charlie Mann, coaches will have to accept interference from the boardroom.

"Vladimir Romanov believes that as the owner of the club he has the right to have a role in every decision that's taken," Mann told BBC Sport.

"For us in this country that is not the way it should happen but that's the way in other countries. The owner of the club does have an influence in the selection process."

We don't want to develop players to move on to Rangers or Celtic
Roman Romanov
Hearts chairman

Ivanauskas, who had six weeks off in October due to ill health, recently admitted that he was under pressure.

Hearts are seven points adrift in the race for second place in the SPL.

The Lithuanian manager guided Hearts to their first Scottish Cup victory in eight years after taking over from the sacked Graham Rix.

And he was given the job of head coach on a permanent basis before the start of this season.

Latoza was in charge of Lithuania when Scotland were drawn against them in the qualifying race for Euro 2000.

The Scots were held 0-0 in Vilnius in September 1998 but managed a 3-0 win at Hampden during the following year.

Meanwhile, Hearts lost an appeal against a 10,000 fine from the Scottish Football Association for carrying criticism of referees from Vladimir Romanov on their website.

Romanov was himself fined 10,000 after accusing referees of "intrigues" to stop them winning the Scottish Cup last season, and his appeal has yet to be heard.


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