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Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 16:19 UK

Hearts boss 'unlikely to be Scot'

Hearts' owner Vladimir Romanov
Hearts' owner Vladimir Romanov says he is committed to the club

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov says the club are still some way from appointing a new manager and that the new man in charge is unlikely to be Scottish.

He told BBC Scotland that managers here are part of a "Scottish Mafia" and too set in their ways.

Asked if it was a disappointment to lose out on Motherwell manager Mark McGhee, Romanov was philosophical.

"It is not necessarily a bad thing. It is difficult for local managers to rise above that level."

Romanov says that in the past he has offered the job to a coach currently working in the Chinese league.

However, he was on a very lucrative contract and Romanov could not convince him to come to Scotland.

He did not totally rule out appointing a Scottish manager, but would only say: "Never say never."

Romanov said that he now understands the football system in Scotland and that it will now be easier for his club to be a success in the future. However, he also said that the Old Firm's dominance of the game in Scotland is not healthy.

"It can lead to a decline in Scottish football, those teams have a huge budget and it is very difficult for other teams to compete against them," he said.

"It is basically unfair competition.

"We had a period when we had red cards and penalties against us but nobody supported us," he said.


"But when Craig Levein [the Dundee United manager] brought the issue up it was nice to see that someone thought we've got problems."

However, he said that after many disagreements with the Scottish football authorities over competing with Celtic and Rangers in the past it is now time to "rise above" these problems.

Romanov says he has no intention of quitting the club - but would be willing to listen to offers if the price was right.

He added that he is totally committed to Hearts and is sure that in the not too distant future the Edinburgh club will be Scottish Premier League champions.

see also
Hearts plan to cut debt by 12m
07 Jul 08 |  Hearts
Time up for Frail at Tynecastle
26 Jun 08 |  Hearts

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