New Hearts chief pleads for patience

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The Independent Football

Romanov, son of majority shareholder Vladimir, was installed in his twin role yesterday after previous chief executive Phil Anderton was sacked and chairman George Foulkes resigned in protest.

That came just over a week after manager George Burley, who had guided the team to the top of the Scottish Premier League, departed after a clash with Romanov snr.

However, Roman Romanov has appealed for calm and asked for time to work through the necessary changes.

"Sometimes in order to continually progress it is necessary to take action that may seem unpalatable at the time," he said in a statement.

"However, we only ever act with the long-term interests of Heart of Midlothian Football Club.

"We were forced to take the decisions made in connection with the manager and chief executive's departures.

"In the short term many people will ask 'why?'. However we ask our fans to judge us on the results that we are determined to bring to the club.

"Despite the events of the last 10 days and suggestions otherwise, I would like to assure all Hearts fans that we are still entirely resolute in delivering the success that we have spoken about throughout our involvement with this great club.

"We would ask fans to look back 12 months ago and judge where we were then and where we are now in terms of where we play, our position in the league and the undoubted quality of our players.

"That is why we are keen that people do not view us on the next 12 hours, 12 days, 12 weeks but rather judge us on the next 12 months."

Romanov said the club were continuing their search for a new manager and high-level talks with potential candidates for the chief executive's post would be held in London later this week.

He also stressed redevelopment plans for Tynecastle were progressing according to schedule and money would be made available to strengthen the team.

Romanov also promised to meet various supporters' groups in the next few days to outline his plans.

He added: "As well as further investment off the field, can I reinforce the comments made earlier by my father in that we will be investing on playing staff both during the January and summer transfer windows.

"The team have performed admirably under difficult circumstances and I would like to assure them that we will have a top class manager in place as soon as possible.

"The level of professionalism delivered on the pitch by Steven Pressley and his team is commendable and we have a duty to ensure that their off-field support mirrors their on-field ambition.

"I am also well aware of the backing the fans have given the team and it is only right this backing is acknowledged at the highest levels within the club - and as such I am working to secure that the fans' voice is heard in the boardroom as we move forward."