100 Owners: Number 82 – Wallace Mercer (Heart of Midlothian )

The problem of what to do about Rangers and Celtics domination of Scottish football is a seemingly intractable problem which has troubled many minds over the years. There have been oases of openness over the years, perhaps most notably in the early to mid 1980s when both Dundee United and Aberdeen enjoyed both domestic and European success, but ultimately the pendulum of success has always returned to Glasgow. In football, size matters, and Rangers and Celtic are the biggest of the lot. Such a schism is, perhaps, more keenly felt in Edinburgh than anywhere else. The capital city but not the biggest city, Edinburghs two clubs, Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian, have existed in the shadow of the Glasgow giants since the nineteenth century, unable to permanently break their grip on the overwhelming majority of Scottish footballs silverware, but in the summer of 1990 one man did try to break that grip by the most extreme means possible. Wallace Mercer took over the running of Heart of Midlothian on the 25th May 1981, at thirty-four years of age. A self-confessed ‘controlled egomaniac’ (an observation that the he would later come to regret), he had made his fortune in property development, he had moved to London at the age of twenty-five to run a property firm before moving back to Edinburgh with his own company, Pentland Securities, having studied accountancy,...

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