Football: Hearts dismiss Jordan after Falkirk fiasco

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The Independent Online
JOE JORDAN was yesterday sacked as manager of Heart of Midlothian 48 hours after the club suffered an embarrassing 6-0 reverse at the hands of the Premier Division strugglers Falkirk, which ended their hopes of European football next season.

Ultimately it was Jordan's failure to bring to Tynecastle their first major trophy in 31 years which led to his dismissal, although financial constraints meant he was never able to operate as his own man in the two and a half years he was at Hearts. He was largely forced to work with the players he inherited on his arrival from Bristol City. Finances also dictated that David McPherson was sold back to Rangers last June for pounds 1.3m, five years after Hearts had bought him for pounds 350,000.

Jordan's organisational skills helped to paper over the cracks on the field to a degree but his relationship with Wallace Mercer, the club's chairman, was an uneasy one at best and rumours have been sweeping Edinburgh and Scotland for some time that the manager would leave the club at the end of the season.

Sandy Clark, a former player with the club who had operated as the reserve-team coach, has been installed as manager. Jimmy Nicholl, the former Manchester United player, is the favourite for the job on a permanent basis; Gordon Strachan, of Leeds, is also considered a contender for a player-manager slot.

The future of the Liverpool manager, Graeme Souness, is again the subject of speculation after an emergency board meeting at Anfield on Sunday. Club directors had a four- hour meeting at the ground, saying afterwards it had been about financial matters. Souness was linked yesterday with the position at Tynecastle, possibly in a co-owner capacity.

Brian Clough has turned down a suggestion that he should become Nottingham Forest's life president. 'I don't want any more titles,' said Clough, who already holds an OBE, an MA and the Freedom of Nottingham. While speculation surrounds his successor, Clough believes Forest should start by promoting his assistant Ron Fenton to the vacant post.

The Dutch clubs, Dordrecht and PSV Eindhoven, will play the second half of Sunday's abandoned league game later this week. The match had been abandoned following bomb threats, which turned out be hoaxes.

Police fired tear gas to break up an angry crowd of some 200 Honduran fans who destroyed vehicles and threw stones after their team lost a World Cup qualifier to Mexico in Tegucigalpa on Sunday. Two people were injured. Police intervened after the crowd had destroyed two mobile broadcast vehicles used by Honduran radio stations to transmit the match, which Honduras lost 4-1. Two Hondurans and one Mexican were shown the red card in a bad-tempered match.