Final home match of the 2011-12 season for Heart of Midlothian FC.
Heart of Midlothian 2 - 0 St Johnstone - 6th May 2012

In a season full of ups and downs, Hearts are within a point of clinching a European place with one game remaining, which is against Celtic at their Parkhead stadium, and also have a Scottish Cup final appearance against their biggest rivals to look forward to. So, this is the last home match of the current season and unfortunately, mine as well. Increased prices and lack of future income means I can’t afford to renew my season ticket for next season. So, I decided to take the opportunity to capture the moment as this may be my last match at Tynecastle Stadium for a while.

I am sorry for the really poor quality of pictures.

I am literally

… bouncing off the walls in excitement.

Hearts 2 - 1 Celtic

SCOTTISH CUP FINAL HERE WE COME! :D

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Away up in Gorgie…

… at Tynecastle Park,
There’s a wee fitba team that aye makes its mark,
They’ve won all the honours in footballing art,
There’s nae other team tae compare wi’ the Hearts.

H-E-A… R-T-S…
If you cannae spell it, then here’s what it says.
HEARTS, HEARTS, GLORIOUS HEARTS!
It’s down at Tynecastle they bide!
The talk o’ the toon,
Are the boys in maroon,
And auld reekie supports them wi’ pride.

For national caps we can always supply,
Like Massey and Walker, Bauld and MacKay.
If I had the time, I could name dozens more,
Who have helped in producing the auld Hampden roar!

H-E-A… R-T-S…
If you cannae spell it, then here’s what it says.
HEARTS, HEARTS, GLORIOUS HEARTS!
It’s down at Tynecastle they bide!
The talk o’ the toon,
Are the boys in maroon,
And auld reekie supports them wi’ pride.

This is my story, this is my song.
Follow the Hearts and,
You can’t go wrong!
Though some say the Rangers and Celtic are grand,
But the boys in maroon are the best in the land.

We’ve won the league flag and we’ve won the league cup.
Though we sometimes we go down, we can aye come back up.
Our forwards can score and it’s no idle talk.
Our defence is as strong as the auld castle rock!

H-E-A… R-T-S…
If you cannae spell it, then here’s what it says.
HEARTS, HEARTS, GLORIOUS HEARTS!
It’s down at Tynecastle they bide!
The talk o’ the toon,
Are the boys in maroon,
And auld reekie supports them wi’ pride.

This is my story, this is my song.
Follow the Hearts and,
You can’t go wrong!
Though some say the Rangers and Celtic are grand, (HAH!)
But the boys in maroon are the best in the land.

BRING ON THE HIBEES!

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A Football Report: Our Reaction to Transfer Deadline Day

afootballreport:

Pretty much. Unless you’re a QPR fan, nothing worth knowing went down. Though fake stories, false sightings of players on trains to [insert your city], and “Carlos Tevez to Aston Villa!!!” twitter hoaxes were in abundance. If you are interested, that’s fine. Our friends at The World’s Game

The transfer deadline day was deemed as a success by the fans of the team I follow and have supported all my life, despite the club not signing anyone. Heart of Midlothian fans in Scotland were expecting a mass exodus of the high earners (and thus, best players), including fans’ favourite Rudolf “Rudi” Skacel, who was out of contract at the end of the deadline. Rumours of club captain Marius Zaliukas going to England, top goalkeeper Marian Kello to Austria and nippy winger David Templeton to SPL rivals Rangers, all failed to materialise. In the end, Hearts managed to offload just 3 players on deadline day, all of whom reserve team players, and as an added bonus, extended Skacel’s contract to the end of the season.

The only first-team players to leave Hearts in the January transfer window were versatile Icelandic international Eggert Jonsson to Wolves at the beginning and want-away midfielder Ryan Stevenson to Ipswich Town.

Despite off-field troubles at Hearts in recent months (late wage payments, threats of a points deduction, owner wishing to sell, to name a few), things are slowly starting to look up.

For the time being.

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REBLOGGED afootballreport 2 years ago (ORIGINALLY afootballreport)

"Oh yes, we have!" "Oh no, they haven’t!"

Today has been rather interesting if you’re a Heart of Midlothian supporter.

It all started back in October, when players went without wages for a month or so. The players complained to the Scottish Professional Footballers Association, who then complained to the governing body of Scottish football (or at least one of the three), who then told Hearts to pay up or be punished. This trend continued until last week when the players were paid all due wages and interest, after the club were given a deadline of midnight on Tuesday morning to pay everything back-dated to now as well as the next set of wages, which were due to be paid the preceding Monday. So that day arrived and Hearts said the wages were sent out to be paid on time. Then we get to Tuesday morning…

First Romanov says he may not sell the club after all (despite saying he was sick of Scottish football and the media and wanted away as soon as possible), on the same day he finally opens the Scottish branch of his Lithuanian-based bank, Ukio Bankas. Then Marius Zaliukas, the Hearts captain, says the players have been paid on time. The Scottish Premier League (SPL) say they haven’t seen any proof of the players being paid and would hold a meeting to discuss it. Hearts then said the players have been paid and that they do have the proof if the SPL want to have a look at it. Then the SPL decide from their meeting that the players haven’t been paid on time, so Hearts will have to be punished.

There are several punishments the SPL could hand out to Hearts. The first one being a strong fine. This would be about as logical as fining a homeless person for not having a home. Hearts are short of cash, that’s why the club is in this mess to begin with. Fining the club will only make it worse. The next option is to deduct league points. Considering Hearts have not lost a match in 6 games, winning 5 of them in the process, this would make a lot of sense for the SPL. Not only would it severely dent the seemingly indestructible morale in the Hearts camp, it would harm them financially by ending a potential run in a lucrative European competition. Although, this punishes the players who have already been ‘punished’ by not receiving wages on time in the first place, making this illogical. The last option is to place a transfer embargo on Hearts, which means the club can not buy or sell players with the embargo in place, or face more severe punishments (See: FC Sion). With the club seeming to rely on selling players to stay afloat and pay remaining players, this would also be illogical.

So really, charging Hearts for not having the money to pay players is going to punish those already affected or remove more money from the club. I agree that its wrong that the players haven’t been paid recently, but now they are and the club is still being punished for it. To say the SPL have been farcical in this is an understatement. Yet again, they’re embarrassing Scottish football by being completely incompetent at what they do. Some things never change.

Thanks for reading,
Craig

(External links: BBC.co.uk, Wikipedia.org.)

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Delayed wages, no money, talk of players striking and talk of a clear-out of players. Ian Black (pictured) even paying for Christmas by working part-time as a painter and decorator.

Black missed a penalty at 0-0, then Hearts conceded a goal just 18 seconds after Ryan McGowan scored his first ever goal for Hearts.

Yet morale wasn’t low enough for a well-battled 3-1 win over local rivals, Hibernian. 2 great goals from Andy Webster and Rudi Skacel sealing the win. Fantastic result for Hearts today. 4 games undefeated in the league, 9 games undefeated against Hibs. Long may it continue.

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There’s no business like show business…

… or at least that’s what Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov thinks.

These past 7 days have been a horrible time for the football club I support, Heart of Midlothian. Wage payments were due in the middle of October and have yet to be paid, players and staff defaulting on direct debits as a result. On top of that, Hearts have lost 2 games in a row that should’ve been won and haven’t scored a single goal in that time. The manager, Paulo Sergio, doesn’t seem to have a Plan B or feel the need to play a recognised striker in the striker role. This is the same man who is due to have a disiplinary hearing for expressing his disgust at a particular referee and also throwing a tantrum of biblical proportions on Saturday, in which he basically told the referee he should be sent off for his poor performance in refereeing the game. The referees thing is fair enough. Iain Brines was an assistant referee at a Hearts match a little over a week after Hearts wrote to the SFA questioning his ability to referee a game, which doesn’t seem to exist. Add to the fact Alan Muir was incompetent and inconsistent on Saturday, whose only good decision was to send off a Hearts player for a reckless lunge.

Anyway, the more worrying of these scenarios is the fact that Hearts players and staff payments have been delayed by almost three weeks. This is nothing new for Hearts, it’s happened at least three times in the past few years. But each time, it has been resolved within a few days, so no real fuss was made. This time, there is talk of Hearts players complaining to FIFA and the SFA, the governing body of football for the world and Scotland respectively, as well as releasing themselves from their contracts, if they continue to go without being paid.

While all this is happening, the Hearts owner continues to attack the SFA and the Scottish media in another of his drunken-like rants. Once again, he branded Scottish football as a “show business” and the media as “monkeys” for “running, or should that be ruining, Scottish football.” He then goes on to say…

"That sort of outrage from the media, federation and tax authorities kills everyone who is trying to change this situation, including ourselves who are ready to invest in Scotland once again with stadium plans. And no one is interested in what’s going on.

"This is why I think there is no point in spending millions to watch someone else’s show."

(The words of Vladimir Romanov, courtesy of BBC Scotland and Hearts FC)

This strikes fear into the minds of almost every Hearts fan. Mr Romanov owns a majority of the shares in the club as well as owning all of Hearts’ £30m+ debt and doesn’t exactly sound keen to stick around for very long. Hearts’ only real asset is Tynecastle Stadium, their home of 126 years. However, its crumbling stands, the distillery next to it and restricted land around it means its value is likely to be around £10m. If Mr Romanov were to pack up and leave, it’s likely he will demand his £30m+ back. He is a Russian business man who owns the largest bank in Lithuania, after all. A figure as large as that will no doubt cause the club to become insolvent.

No British-based businessman will want to put their money into buying the club and paying off its debts, either. Scottish football has very little in the way of sponsorship and TV revenue and spaces in the lucrative continental tournaments are limited. Even if Hearts were to finish third, there would be four difficult matches to overcome if they were to reach the group stages of the Europa League, where most of the revenue can be found.

If Mr Romanov were to become fed up of Scottish football and the media “ruining” it even more, then the club I love and support will be no more and the rich history that the club prides itself on will be merely a few paragraphs of writing. Even fans of Hearts’ Edinburgh rivals, Hibernian, that actually have a braincell will agree with me that this can not happen, for the sake of not only Hearts fans, but even Hibernian FC and Scottish football as a whole.