Tag: Heart of Midlothian

Videos of the Day: The Edinburgh Derby

Following a two-all draw in their recent match at Tynecastle, Heart of Midlothian replay against Hibernian in the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup at Easter Road this evening, with a quarter-final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle awaiting the winners. Hearts currently have the upper hand over Hibs in terms of league positions and the Edinburgh derby. They sit in third place in the Scottish Premiership behind the leaders Celtic and second placed Aberdeen, with Hibs currently in second place in the Scottish Championship behind Rangers, who are eight points clear at the top of the table, although Hibernian do...

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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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Match of the Weekend 2 – The Scottish Cup Final: Hibernian 1 Heart of Midlothian 5

Having waited 118 years for a second all-Edinburgh Final, the Scottish Cup final ended up being a disappointment for neutrals, and especially Hibernian fans, as Heart of Midlothian ran out comfortable 5-1 winners, for their eight victory in the competition, their third Cup win in fourteen years. It was a game overshadowed by controversy, especially concerning the decision at the start of the second half, which saw Hearts awarded a penalty and Hibernian reduced to ten men. With many fans considering this the biggest derby ever, the opening exchanges were relatively fast-paced, but with both sides avoiding too many risks. With it taking eight minutes before either side made it to the opposition penalty box, even then the Hibernian defence easily dealt with Danny Grainger’s freekick, although the clearance led to a crude challenge by 1998 Cup Final ballboy Ian Black on Leigh Griffiths. Replays suggested that Black’s jumping shoulder charge also saw him catchGriffithswith an elbow, and referee Craig Thomson shows a lot of leniency towards the Hearts’ number eight in his last game for the club. It takes twelve minutes before we even get a half-chance. Good work between Grainger and Rudi Skacel is almost broken up by a challenge by Jorge Claros, but as the Hibs defence switches off, Andrew Driver saves the ball from going out of play and delivers a cross that’s just too...

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The Patience of Job But With Less Tribulation

There exists no such concept of the comfortable silence when it comes to football in Edinburgh. One week, noises out of Tynecastle note the length of time it has been since senior squad players last saw pounds deposited into their bank accounts, and the next week these same players are finally paid but rumours of a January firesale for them run rampant. In between, Heart of Midlothian fail in their endeavours with the local council to expand and renovate the existing stadium while manager Paulo Sergio escapes his disciplinary hearing in Hampden with only a warning but faces new charges after his conduct during his side’s loss to Kilmarnock 29 October, thus extending the club’s media blackout further. It seems Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov has something interesting to say every week, so with him there will never be anything approaching silence of any kind regardless of the media ban. Perhaps, though, a bit of deliberate reflection is in order to adequately assess where the club goes from here. For Hearts, everything begins and ends with Romanov. While the beginning of his ownership went well by him saving Hearts from going homeless and later financing the squad that split the Old Firm in the final league table of the 2005/06 season, his expected rate of return on this investment in Scottish football has yet to be realised, and his recent actions (or inactions) has demonstrated his frustration. There have been...

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An Alternative View on the Media Bans

Football clubs and the media covering them live together as slightly estranged bedfellows, desirous of one another’s company but at times cold or distant when the other’s been bad in the sack. Quite often it is the club in some capacity turning away, demanding the media pick up the blanket off the end of the bed and to go sleep on the couch for the night. In this respect the BBC are well accustomed to this uncomfortable part of the relationship after having spent seven years making a dent in the sofa cushions outside Sir Alex Ferguson’s bedroom, but the current falling out with Glasgow Rangers and their owner Craig Whyte finds the organisation in a rather different situation. Coupled with the recent decision by Heart of Midlothian to turn a cold shoulder to all media until after the Scottish FA’s compliance hearing with manager Paolo Sergio and questions arise as to whether these are isolated responses to the two clubs having individually bad news days or if there is something more going on than the headache excuse. Much has been made of Whyte’s banning of official and even unofficial discourse with the BBC based on two specific incidents in addition to its ongoing coverage of the Old Firm side. The first sign of a frosty relationship between Rangers and the Beeb happened before a ball was even kicked...

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