Hearts manager Jefferies removed from role

Hearts are in turmoil once again after it was confirmed last night that manager Jim Jefferies was no longer in charge at the club.

A Tynecastle spokesman said: "Jim Jefferies has been removed as manager, and has been offered a director of football role, which he is currently considering."

It is believed that the positions of assistant Billy Brown and first-team coach Gary Locke are under review. The players, with one eye on Thursday's crucial Europa League second-leg game against Hungarian side Paks, were said to be "unhappy" when told of the news by majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov at a meeting at the stadium yesterday afternoon.

They were reportedly told at the meeting that a manager "with European experience" was needed at the club. Romanov's seven-year tenure at Tynecastle is littered with managerial casualties including John Robertson, George Burley and Graham Rix.