Hearts decide against Intertoto Cup entry

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The Independent Football

Heart of Midlothian have decided against entering the Intertoto Cup, leaving Hibernian and Falkirk fighting it out for a place in the Uefa Cup qualifying tournament.

Hibs lead the Bairns by five points but the Edinburgh side could yet claim Uefa Cup entry via a third-place finish. Hearts will miss out on the top six unless they beat Kilmarnock and Falkirk fail to win at Aberdeen.

Hearts, who hosted Barcelona last year, have also shelved plans to arrange another high-profile home friendly. Managing director Campbell Ogilvie said: "Before anything else the number one priority for Hearts pre-season is ensuring the most effective preparation.

"In future years we might consider the opportunity to participate in a tournament such as the Intertoto Cup or another major friendly such as last year's game against Barcelona, which was attended by 58,000 supporters.

"However, our strong feeling was that our pre-season had to offer the best opportunity to be ready for the start of the new campaign.

"My colleagues in the football department have led the way in these recommendations; 2008-09 is a very important season in the history of Hearts, and everything we do must be right."