Hearts fans ready to take on Romanov

November 21, 2006

Hearts supporters are proposing a revival of the Save Our Hearts campaign if owner Vladimir Romanov continues to court controversy.

The Lithuanian has been criticised by fans for the way he runs Hearts, with many suggesting he is too involved in team selection.

Despite welcoming the banker as a saviour just over 18 months ago for halting the sale of Tynecastle, some supporters now blame Romanov for the team's current slump in the Bank of Scotland Premier League.

The Save Our Hearts group was initially set up in a bid to stop Tynecastle being bulldozed for flats under former chief executive Chris Robinson but has been idle since Romanov became the majority shareholder last year.

However, Iain MacLeod, who was involved with the group, admits it could now be resurrected.

MacLeod said: 'If the time is not here, it will be here shortly, unless something changes. The campaign will be completely different this time around.

'Nevertheless, either we stand back and do nothing or stand up and do something. I'm really worried about the treatment of the bulk of the Scottish players.

'My worry is that we go into freefall and end up in a similar state to not so long ago.

'If we don't get back success on the park, the attendances will start to dwindle, then maybe Mr Romanov starts to get bored and we're back to the state we were in under Chris Robinson whereby we have to sell the ground.

'Nobody wants that. Something has to change to get us back on track.'

Meanwhile, MacLeod has leapt to the defence of the supporters after Hearts sporting director Alex Koslovski accused them of discrimination for booing Lithuanian duo Saulius Mikoliunas and Nerijus Barasa on Sunday.

He added: 'I don't think that's the case. Andrius Velicka, who was playing up front, is Lithuanian and he was warmly received.

'There are issues with Mikoliunas because he's not been playing well and seems to be a first pick.

'I don't know what the problem is with Barasa, but I don't think there's a problem with their nationality at all.'