Hearts urged to clear up Thomson's position

Hearts have been urged to clarify the future of convicted sex offender Craig Thomson amid speculation the player may be loaned to another club in owner Vladimir Romanov's sphere of influence.

Hearts yesterday confirmed Thomson, who last month pleaded guilty to lewd, libidinous and indecent behaviour, would be leaving the club "imminently", adding they would "find a solution" in the coming days.

There is speculation that Thomson will be found a role at either Lithuanian team FBK Kaunas or MTZ-Ripo in Belarus after the statement stopped short of explaining under what terms the 20-year-old would leave.

Romanov came under intense pressure to remove Thomson from the Tynecastle squad after he was fined and placed on the sex offenders' register last month after admitting the offence, which related to inappropriate conduct towards two underage girls over the internet.

And former Hearts defender Alan McLaren has urged Romanov to sever all ties between the player and club.

"I don't think he should go to another club but it's not for me to decide," McLaren told Sky Sports News.

"It's not what I would like and it's not what a lot of Hearts fans would like. They want him sacked by Hearts and out of Hearts forever.

"If he is still going to be on the wage bill for the next two or three years, it's not acceptable. They have to clarify the position."

Romanov initially stood by the player, with a club statement putting his misconduct down to "naivety and possible wrong outside influence" before the Lithuanian-based businessman hit out at "mafia" and "maniacs" who were trying to destabilise the club.

But he claimed at the weekend he had been unable to make an informed decision until the end of his holiday last week.

Speaking through an interpreter, he told BBC Scotland: "I came back from my travels on the seventh and only then was I able to meet Craig Thomson and his family.

"We have had discussions, I have reviewed all the facts concerning his case, and I understand that he has done the wrong thing."

However, Romanov fuelled speculation he would seek another club for Thomson, who has made more than 50 appearances for Hearts, when he called on people to stop focusing on the player.

"But I also understand that it is quite widespread in society, that on the social network it is a very dangerous thing," Romanov said.

"There is something wrong from the wider perspective."

Romanov added: "There are some very serious things wrong that need to be addressed, it's not about singling out one person."

McLaren refused to accept Romanov's reasoning for the delay.

After an internal investigation, Hearts initially announced they were standing by Thomson on June 24 - more than a week after his conviction - before suspending him on June 28.

Two days later, police confirmed they were making inquiries into fresh allegations against the player.

McLaren said: "It's a good decision, unfortunately it's three or four weeks late.

"The long time it has taken the owner to come to this decision was very upsetting for a lot of people - the victims, the victims' families and Hearts fans.

"They wanted it dealt with immediately and it wasn't. This should have been the priority of the owner, it was a serious decision and it should have been dealt with quickly."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about your tax disc - completely obsolete tomorrow
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style