Scottish football is corrupt

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lbb
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Scottish football is corrupt

Post by lbb » Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:17 pm

Says someone from the birthplace of democracy and law and order - Lithuania.

http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport ... 3998122.jp

ROMAN ROMANOV today tried to deflect the fury of Hearts fans at the club's AGM by claiming that Scottish football is corrupt.

"For a very long time in this country it is a fixed league where Rangers and Celtic win by 30 points. Ask yourself how many games this year have been screwed by referees, five games is 15 points."

the hibLOG
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Post by the hibLOG » Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:52 pm

That's another hefty fine winging its way towards Tynecastle. What a plank. Maybe this time they should dock some points, reignite the relegation battle :wink:
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upthewell
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Post by upthewell » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:50 am

Why did he buy Hearts? Seriously - what was his motivation to buy a Scottish Club in he first place and then why did he set his heart on Hearts?

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Post by lbb » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:49 pm

upthewell wrote:Why did he buy Hearts? Seriously - what was his motivation to buy a Scottish Club in he first place and then why did he set his heart on Hearts?
He approached Dunfermline (when even John Yorkston gives you a knockback alarm bells should be ringing), Dundee United and one other unnamed club. Hearts were his fourth option.

The often stated assertion is that Tynecastle will be sold by Romanov and the area turned into the dreaded 'luxury flats'. However, Hearts presently owe £40m (all of it to Ukio Bankas, I imagine) and the Chris Robinson deal to sell Tynecastle in 2004 valued the ground at £20m. It's difficult to believe that the land value has more than doubled in that time so there would seem to be little, if any, profit in such a scenario.

It could only be speculation as to his true motives. Perhaps he's simply insane. Spending months on a submarine breathing in the sweat and musk of other men might do that to someone.

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Post by the hibLOG » Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:14 pm

upthewell wrote:Why did he buy Hearts? Seriously - what was his motivation to buy a Scottish Club in he first place and then why did he set his heart on Hearts?
The theory is that he wanted to use ownership of a Scottish club as a vehicle for gaining access to the UK business market, for his bank and other ventures. Also he made little secret of the fact that he intended to use whichever club would have him as a shop window for the best Lithuanian talent to be imported via the Kaunas club he owns, and sold on at a profit. He didn't set his heart on Hearts - they were the only ones desperate enough to have him.

Needless to say this theory looks distinctly shaky now. Firstly, if you were a member of the Scottish/British banking or business community would you trust him to mind your car outside Tynecastle after the way he has behaved over the last three years? Secondly, virtually all the Lithuanians he has imported to Hearts are complete gash and the only significant profit he has made on transfer dealings has come from one Scottish player who was already at the club.

Supporters of Romanov like to take refuge in the assertion that he is a successful businessman and therefore everything will be alright. Funnily enough almost all people who buy football clubs are successful businessmen but this hasn't stopped a lot of them running their clubs to the brink of oblivion and sometimes beyond (er, Chris Robinson for example). Given that the bulk of Romanov's wealth was (as I understand it) accumulated by the good fortune of acquiring former Soviet state assets at criminally knock-down prices rather than by the genius of his own business acumen, I'd rather not take refuge behind such an article of faith if it was my club.

The second port in the storm is that Hearts are backed by the assets of Romanov's UBIG empire and therefore the club's huge debt and losses are really small fry in that context. All their debt is held by UKIO Bankas which is owned by Romanov and his mum, so it's unlikely that the debt will be called in. Despite posting favourable results recently UKIO Bankas is small fry in the world of banking, with a poor (albeit improving) credit rating. However I can't see that carrying debts the size of Hearts' which exceed the likely value of their assets (with the decline in commercial property values) will do anything for UKIO's credit rating, and in the current climate where far bigger banks are encountering problems it wouldn't give me confidence in that underlying security.

The final straw clung to is the belief that without Romanov Hearts would have been rubber-ducked in any case. This is a fair point for those who are happy to take the roller-coaster highs of Scottish Cup glory by a baw-hair against 2nd Division opposition along with the numerous big-dipper lows of public humiliation and embarassment. There are no doubt plenty of Hibs fans who would have a Scottish Cup at any price but I suspect there are also plenty of Hearts fans who would give it back right now for a bit of financial sanity, a trustworthy owner and some vestige of dignity.

In conclusion therefore, it's impossible to say whether Romanov actually knows - or cares - what he is doing with Hearts. There have been so many broken promises and contradictory statements that the cock-up and conspiracy theories have roughly equal weight. Only time will tell, but I personally can't see a happy ending for Hearts to this strange tale.
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Post by StAndrewsHMFC » Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:53 pm

Romanov's a lot simpler than everyone thinks, conspiracy theories abound on the terraces and media, but at the end of the day if he was ever going to make money from Hearts, he'd be far to clever to ever become involved in scottish football.

Romanov, believe it or not likes football, and he likes to win. So he bought a club in Lithuania put in a small amount of cash and won alot, few years later buys a club in Belarus puts in a small amount of cash and wins alot again. Not really getting much recognition in the football world, so he takes a step up (in some peoples eyes) to the SPL. Unfortunately its a bit more difficult here and he ducks it up. Thats about it, no long term plan to turn Tynie to flats, break into the banking market or anything else. Like all the other owners out there he honestly believes he can be successful, but happy endings are in short supply for scottish football, and in all probability the rest of us will continue to die a slow death as the old firm strangle the scottish game.

As a Hearts fan I find it frustrating the way things go sometimes under Romanov, but until I have the power/colateral to do anything about I just have to sit back and take the rough with the smooth. And I'm afraid I probably wouldn't swap a bit of stability for the cup win, and maybe we did scrape past a 2nd division team in the final but the semi was a different story. Still not as good as 98 though

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Post by StAndrewsHMFC » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:06 pm

On the original point- Roman did make a bit of a tit of himself. I'm in no way trying to back him up, but you did remind of something-

When I lived in St.A's the officials of scottish football used to have a summer conference up there. (Really bizaare walking down to lab in the morning surrounded by refs). Anyway a couple of times we bumped into groups of officials in pubs and I was quite taken aback by their point of view. I don't think scottish football is corrupt but I'm not sure its a level playing field

lbb
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Post by lbb » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:13 am

StAndrewsHMFC wrote: Romanov, believe it or not likes football, and he likes to win. So he bought a club in Lithuania put in a small amount of cash and won alot, few years later buys a club in Belarus puts in a small amount of cash and wins alot again. Not really getting much recognition in the football world, so he takes a step up (in some peoples eyes) to the SPL. Unfortunately its a bit more difficult here and he ducks it up. Thats about it, no long term plan to turn Tynie to flats, break into the banking market or anything else. Like all the other owners out there he honestly believes he can be successful, but happy endings are in short supply for scottish football, and in all probability the rest of us will continue to die a slow death as the old firm strangle the scottish game.
Yes, it's the Old Firm's fault.

What money has he invested in Hearts? They now have eye-watering debts (that I doubt they could ever repay by themselves) and, as has been pointed out, they now have a much, much weaker team than 2005. Anytime anyone decent has appeared at Tynecastle - Skacel, Gordon, Bednar, Hartley, Webster, Velicka - it's a sure sign they won't last long in a Hearts jersey. Rather than being guilty of under-estimating what's required to succeed in Scottish football, he seems to have made no effort to build a team capable of succeeding and indeed doing almost anything - sacking Burley, etc. - to stop that happening. :?

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Post by the hibLOG » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:43 am

You may well be right that Romanov just wants another rich man's plaything (though I suspect he saw the wider business opportunity as well), and you are undoubtedly right that he has right royally screwed it up this time.

Given that, you can surely only conclude that Hearts are now in a state of deferred extinction. They cannot conceivably trade their way out of their current debt. The security of having that debt held by Romanov's bank looks terribly shaky.

I am not saying all this as a gloating Hibee or anything. I'm just fascinated at the ways in which rich men are able to perpetrate such indignities on long-standing social institutions. It's a funny old game alright.
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Post by StAndrewsHMFC » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:26 pm

lbb wrote: Yes, it's the Old Firm's fault.
Not blaming the old firm for Romanov. Was simply a statement based on more and more kids supportting the old firm with each generation- thats whats killing the rest of us as a whole. If you keep extrapollating the trend eventually everyone in Scotland will follow one of the two, which is not good for Scottish football, and I'm afraid leads to an unhappy ending for all of us not just Hearts.

It was a wider point that perhaps I didn't express clearly enough in my first post.
lbb wrote: What money has he invested in Hearts? They now have eye-watering debts (that I doubt they could ever repay by themselves) and, as has been pointed out, they now have a much, much weaker team than 2005. Anytime anyone decent has appeared at Tynecastle - Skacel, Gordon, Bednar, Hartley, Webster, Velicka - it's a sure sign they won't last long in a Hearts jersey. Rather than being guilty of under-estimating what's required to succeed in Scottish football, he seems to have made no effort to build a team capable of succeeding and indeed doing almost anything - sacking Burley, etc. - to stop that happening. :?
You don't think he underestimated whats required in the SPL? Your right we wiped the floor with everyone for the last 3 seasons just like he thought we would.

There is no masterplan, no conspiracy to stop Hearts being successful just a man who has proved pretty incapable of running a football club in Scotland so far.

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Post by StAndrewsHMFC » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:37 pm

the hibLOG wrote:Given that, you can surely only conclude that Hearts are now in a state of deferred extinction. They cannot conceivably trade their way out of their current debt. The security of having that debt held by Romanov's bank looks terribly shaky.

I am not saying all this as a gloating Hibee or anything. I'm just fascinated at the ways in which rich men are able to perpetrate such indignities on long-standing social institutions. It's a funny old game alright.
I'm afraid I can't discuss Romanov's bank with any great knowledge, but looking at Hearts as a stand alone entity the are currently insolvent. As part of UBIG (I'm not hiding behind this I'm just stating it) the club is able to continue to trade. Ideal no, but fatal, perhaps not. The ultimate point about Romanov is noone has a clue what he is going to do, so people tend to speculate, so we end up with all manor of theories. As I said above there is nothing I can do about it, barring a euromillions win, so I'm just going to have to go along for the ride

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Post by lbb » Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:25 am

StAndrewsHMFC wrote: You don't think he underestimated whats required in the SPL? Your right we wiped the floor with everyone for the last 3 seasons just like he thought we would.

There is no masterplan, no conspiracy to stop Hearts being successful just a man who has proved pretty incapable of running a football club in Scotland so far.
I'd say sacking your manager when you're top of the league and getting rid of all your best players is a surefire way to plummet down the league - and you don't have to be an expert on Scottish football to know that.

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