Writer: Specs Haver
Date:Wednesday December 21 2011
Hearts have announced that the Edinburgh Council Economic Development Committee have approved the findings of the Joint Stadium Report - commissioned by the club - by estate consultants and Council experts. As was expected, this report seems to have concluded that Tynecastle "does not offer a practical long-term development option for Hearts".
This type of language has been peddled by the regime for a couple of years now, with Vitalijus Vasiliauskas being the latest to hail the approval of this report as good news.
Maybe I`m missing something here ….. but how can a company whose debts vastly exceed its assets consider that moving to (and largely funding) a new stadium be a preferred outcome, compared to simply replacing the Main Stand with a slightly larger and more modern version ?
Hearts have already invested over £1.5m in consultant fees to produce reports and plans to get to this point - and it could take the same again to identify a site and prepare more plans… and thats before any money is found to embark on construction !! This latest news means that a next process is likely to be started, where the feasibility of building and running a "community stadium" will be investigated.
The clue to all this bizarre activity might be in the phrase "practical long-term development option". Vladimir has indicated that he either wants a partner to come on board or someone to come forward to buy the club from him - since he seems to see no future in the football club in its current shape. So, why would he still want to find a "long-term practical development option" for a football club that he has no interest in ?
The solution to Hearts becoming a sustainable football club is clear - lower the annual wage bill by at least 50%, provide a better progression path for the best Academy players into the first team, and try to sell 1 or 2 players per year to slowly eat away at the debt.
So what is this "long-term practical development option" ? Well, it could be that Romanov now has his mind set on divorcing the football club from the stadium operator.
There is a certain logic from his point of view. No progress on the field for the football club, but possible progress in his quest for an increased revenue stream from his Scottish adventure off it. So his mind may now be set on retaining Tynecastle, while trying to finalise the joint construction of a new multi-purpose facility along with the Council - he can even arrange funding through Ukio Bankas. Meanwhile, the football club under new owners becomes a tenant at Tynecastle, and eventually a tenant at the new stadium - with the land in Gorgie then being sold by Romanov to the Council or developers.
Such a scenario would certainly mean that Hearts would become a different kind of entity post-Romanov. For better or for worse ? Arguments could be made either way, I suspect.
Yet for ordinary Hearts fans, the question remains to be answered - is there ACTUALLY any reason why a replacement McLeod Street stand cannot be built at
Tynecastle ? Has any of these expensive reports ever answered this ?
Meanwhile, media reports are suggesting that a fee has been agreed with Wolves for the transfer of Eggert Jonnson. The big Icelander is likely to be one of the biggest earners at Tynecastle, and he recently rejected a contract extension - so offloading him for a modest fee in the current climate is a decent bit of business in my opinion. Eggert has progressed well since arriving as a 16 year-old in 2005 - but Hearts are well off for defensive midfielders right now, and I suspect his own performance won`t improve while he remains in the SPL. Good luck, Eggert !!
Date:Wednesday December 21 2011
Hearts Snatch Point In Dramatic Edinburgh Derby (Sunday April 3 2011)
Remember THAT transfer window ? (pt 1) (Monday February 7 2011)
Hearts - Saints Player Ratings (Sunday January 30 2011)
Hearts should use Chick Young as motivation !! (Friday January 28 2011)
Hearts 1-0 Rangers - Player Ratings (Sunday January 23 2011)
Who should Hearts try to sign ? (Wednesday January 12 2011)
Hearts lead SPL sceptics ? (Wednesday January 5 2011)
Hearts icons of ... the 1980s (part 2) (Tuesday December 7 2010)
Hearts icons of .... the 1980s (part 1) (Thursday December 2 2010)
Scottish football - a mad upside-down world (Saturday November 27 2010)
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