Heart of Midlothian F.C. (most commonly referred to as Hearts) is a football club from Edinburgh, Scotland who play in the Scottish Premier League. They are one of the two principal clubs in the city, the other being rivals Hibernian. Hearts were the only east coast team invited to join the inaugural Scottish Football League in 1890. Hearts have won the Scottish Cup on seven occasions, the League title four times and the League Cup four times.
The all-seated 17,420-capacity Tynecastle Stadium in West Edinburgh, has been the club's home since 1886. Tynecastle Stadium has hosted nine full Scotland International matches, although only two of these games occurred after the Second World War.
Hearts were founded around 1874. They are reputedly named after a popular local dance hall, which in turn took its name from the novel The Heart of Midlothian by Sir Walter Scott. The first Hearts Captain, Tom Purdie, stated that they may have played in 1873. They initially played at The Meadows, Powburn and Powderhall before moving to the Gorgie area in 1881. They moved to their current Tynecastle site in 1886. Their badge is a heart based on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the Royal Mile.
The earliest mention of Heart of Midlothian in a sporting context is a report in the Scotsman newspaper from 20 July 1864 of the Scotsman vs Heart of Mid-Lothian at cricket. It is not known if this was the same club who went on to form the football club, but it was common for football clubs in those days to play other sports as well (eg. Clyde played cricket, whilst Vale of Leven played shinty).
Hearts lobbied hard for the admission of Hibernians (as they were initially called) into the Scottish Football Association, who initially forbade member clubs to play a "sectarian" side. Hearts played several "illegal" matches with Hibs - being fined every time, which resulted in the two clubs playing another match to pay the fine off - until the SFA acquiesced.
The first derby match was on Christmas Day 1875, when Hearts beat Hibernians 1–0. After their five-game struggle for the EFA Cup in 1878, that the two clubs became the dominant ones in Edinburgh. Hearts won 3–2 after 0–0, 1–1, 1–1 and 1–1 draws. The clubs' most notable meeting occurred in the 1896 Scottish Cup Final, played on 14 March 1896, Hearts winning 3-1 at Logie Green Park (the ground of St Bernards) in the only final played outside Glasgow.
The original colour of Hearts football strip was Red, White and Blue taking from the Union Flag.
Hearts had considerable success in the early years of the Scottish Football League winning the league championship in 1894-5 and 1895-6. They also won four Scottish Cups in a 15 year period from 1891 to 1906.
The club then went from 1906 to 1954 without winning a major trophy before enjoying a decade of success between 1954 and 1963. Under the managership of Tommy Walker Hearts won the League twice, in 1957-58, with a record 62 points and 132 goals scored (Still the Scottish 'Top' League Record) and only 29 against in 34 matches, and in 1959-60. Hearts also won the Scottish Cup, in 1956, and the Scottish League Cup four times, in 1954-55, 1958-59, 1959-60 and 1962-63. This glorious period for the club contained many top, now legendary, names such as Alfie Conn, Sr., Willie Bauld, Jimmy Wardhaugh, John Cumming, Dave Mackay and Alex Young. In 1964-65 Hearts lost 2-0 to Kilmarnock on the last day of the season to lose the league title to them on goal average. Subsequently Hearts were instrumental in pushing through a change to use goal difference to separate teams level on points.
From the mid 1960s Hearts went into decline and after the advent of the ten team Premier Division in 1975; they were relegated for the first time in 1976-77, promotion followed in 1977-78 spent several seasons yo-yoing back and forth from the Premier League to the First Division & back again. The major problem for Hearts at this time was an antiquated company structure which was a massive disincentive to anyone to invest in the club. When the board of directors finally resigned after Hearts failed to regain their Premier Division status, however, the arrival of chairman Wallace Mercer led to a revival in the club's fortunes. The club came within 10 minutes of winning the league in 1986 before two goals by Albert Kidd denied them; losing out on goal difference. Hearts finished runners-up again in 1988.
The early 1990s the club struggled to settle on a manager. Within a 2 year period, Joe Jordan, Sandy Clark and Tommy McLean were all sacked. One of the only bright points in this period was the run of 22 games in a row without defeat against arch-rivals Hibernian, including the 2-1 triumph in the fourth round of the 1994 Tennents Scottish Cup at Easter Road, with Wayne Foster grabbing the late winner.
In recent seasons, Hearts have usually been competing for third place in the Scottish Premier League, but, in 2005-2006, they finished second. Since the Scottish Premier League introduced an end of season split into two groups of six, Hearts had been the only team other than the "Old Firm" to have been in the top six each season. This streak came to an end in 2007-08, when after 33 games, Hearts finished in 8th place, missing the cut to be in the top 6 by 3 points, to Aberdeen's 44 points total. They finished third in 2002-3 and 2003-4, and reached the inaugural group stages of the UEFA Cup in 2004-5, but finished bottom of their group, despite a victory over FC Basel. During the 2004-05 season, they finished fifth in the league.
In 2004, then club CEO Chris Robinson announced plans to sell Tynecastle, which he claimed was “not fit for purpose”, and instead have Hearts rent Murrayfield from the Scottish Rugby Union. This move was deemed necessary due to the club’s increasingly large debt. The plan was very unpopular with supporters, and a campaign, entitled Save Our Hearts, was set up to try to block the move. But, as Robinson and his supporters had a slight majority of the club’s shares, a preliminary deal to sell the stadium was struck with the Cala property development company for just over £20 million.
In February 2005, Romanov purchased 29.9% of the share capital, taking effective control of the club. He then increased his holding to 80% by December 2005 and thus gained full control of the club. Romanov also arranged for a £4,500,000 loan due to Scottish Media Group to be paid off by his investment bank.
Romanov said that his ultimate aim is for Hearts to win the Champions League. His early actions included bringing on former Rugby Union chief Phil Anderton as CEO in 3 March 2005. On 9 May 2005, manager John Robertson resigned, a move which was greeted with much dismay among supporters because Robertson had been a great player for Hearts. Former Ipswich Town and Derby County manager George Burley was hired on 30 June 2005 to replace him.
As the season began, the combination of Vladimir Romanov's financial backing and the appointment of George Burley led many Hearts fans to believe that they could win the SPL championship in 2005-06. Signings such as Edgaras Jankauskas, Rudi Skácel and Takis Fyssas, allied to existing players Andy Webster, Steven Pressley, Craig Gordon, and Paul Hartley meant that Hearts built a team which made an outstanding start to the season. Hearts won their first eight SPL games, including a 1-0 win over reigning champions Rangers.
After leading the Jambos through ten undefeated SPL appearances, and guiding them to the top of the league table, Hearts and Burley parted ways on 22 October 2005, just hours before their Premier League match with Dunfermline Athletic. A club statement after the game declared that the departure of Burley had been mutually agreed and that there were "irreconcilable differences" between Burley and the Hearts board. Throughout his short spell in charge rumours had persisted that the relationship between Burley and Romanov was uneasy. It had also been reported that Romanov had signed players without Burley's consent.
John McGlynn was put in temporary charge of the team following Burley's abrupt departure. During McGlynn's tenure of four games, Hearts lost their first league match of the season against rivals Hibs. Following this match, the chief executive Phil Anderton was dismissed on 31 October 2005. The chairman, George Foulkes resigned in protest at Anderton's dismissal. Romanov's son, Roman Romanov, was appointed as chairman and acting chief executive.
Vladimir Romanov's concerns with the fairness of refereeing developed during this period. This started after Hearts made complaints after a match with Rangers in the 2004-05 season during which the referee Hugh Dallas controversially awarded a decisive penalty kick late in the match on the basis of advice from his linesman Andy Davis. There were also complaints after the dismissals of Craig Gordon against Falkirk, Edgaras Jankauskas against Hibs and Saulius Mikoliunas against Rangers. Romanov called for a replay of each of these matches, but this was refused and Romanov was rebuked by the SFA.
On 7 November Graham Rix was appointed as head coach. Hearts' title ambitions suffered a major setback when they lost 3–2 to Celtic on New Year's Day 2006. On 7 February 2006, reports were made indicating that Rix had told players who were apparently disgruntled at being left out of the team before a match against Dundee United that Romanov himself was picking the team and was "pulling the strings". While it was well-known that Rix was not in charge of player transfer policy, it had not previously been confirmed that he was not in charge of selecting the team either.
Part of the fallout from this match was that the agent of Andy Webster indicated that Webster would not extend his contract with Hearts, which was due to expire at the end of 2006-07 season. During April 2006, Vladimir Romanov put Andy Webster on the transfer list, claiming that he could not trust the player.
Graham Rix was sacked as Hearts manager on 22 March 2006 along with the club's Director of Football, Jim Duffy, who had only been appointed one month previously. Shortly afterwards, former FBK Kaunas coach Valdas Ivanauskas was appointed interim head coach of the first team until the end of the season.
Nonetheless, on April 2 2006 Hearts eased into the Scottish Cup Final after a 4–0 victory over Hibs. A 1-0 win over Aberdeen on 3 May at Tynecastle guaranteed second place and a place in the Champions League qualifying rounds for the following season. It also meant that Hearts were the first club to break the total dominance of the Scottish Premier League by the Old Firm since Motherwell in 1995. Hearts then won the Scottish Cup by beating Scottish Second Division side Gretna in a penalty shootout after the final had finished 1-1.
Hearts played their home 2006/2007 European Champions League games at Murrayfield Stadium, rather than in their home ground Tynecastle. A combination of Tynecastle falling short of UEFA requirements in terms of pitch size and hospitality facilities, and Murrayfield's greater capacity, meant that Murrayfield was the preferred choice for the Tynecastle board. Hearts won their second round qualifying tie against Bosnian champions Široki Brijeg 3-0 on aggregate, but were defeated 5-1 on aggregate by AEK Athens in the final qualifying round. The Greek side won 2-1 at Murrayfield due to two late goals and then won 3-0 in the Athens Olympic Stadium. Hearts had one player (Bruno Aguiar) sent off in the first leg and two players (Julien Brellier and Neil McCann) sent off in the second leg.
The loss in the final qualifying round meant that Hearts dropped into the UEFA Cup first round against Sparta Prague. In this competition they lost 2-0 at a muddy Murrayfield in the first leg and they were eliminated after a 0-0 draw in Prague in the return leg on 28 September 2006.
Following an inconsistent start to their League campaign, head coach Valdas Ivanauskas took a sabbatical from his role on 23 October. Club owner Vladimir Romanov, who stated "I have full confidence in Valdas and look forward to his return", appointed the club's sporting director, Eduard Malofeev, as interim head coach. Further off-field disruption ensued four days later when Romanov warned his players that they would all be put up for sale if Hearts did not win their match against Dunfermline Athletic the next day. Captain Steven Pressley, flanked by senior players Paul Hartley and Craig Gordon, responded with a statement voicing the players' unhappiness at affairs at the club, stating in a pre-match media conference ahead of Dunfermline's visit that there was "significant unrest" in the dressing-room. The game was drawn 1-1.
The repercussions from the press conference stretched over several months and eventually led to the departure from the club of two of the so-called Riccarton Three. Pressley was dropped for a match against Falkirk on 13 November and named as an unused substitute for a 1-0 defeat by Rangers on 19 November. Hartley was only used as a substitute in the former game. Pressley eventually left Hearts on 9 December, with accompanying press releases stating that this was an amicable agreement. He joined rivals Celtic on 1 January 2007 and captained his new squad to a 2-1 victory at Tynecastle on his first return to Edinburgh. Hartley also moved to Celtic during January 2007, in a £1.1 million transfer on 31 January. This only left Gordon, who was dropped for matches away to Dundee United and Rangers in December and January respectively, as the only member of the trio to remain at Hearts beyond the January transfer window.
Hearts failed to win a game under the management of Eduard Malofeev, who took control during Ivanauskas' sabbatical. Hearts lost at Celtic and Hibernian - a result which eliminated Hearts from the CIS Cup - and at home to Rangers. He remained as caretaker manager until late November 2006 when, despite media reports anticipating the appointment of Eugenijus Riabovas, Ivanauskas returned to resume his duties as club manager.
A 1-0 loss in the Scottish Cup at Dunfermline on 3 February 2007, with Gordon on the bench, ended Hearts' chance to retain the trophy. Later that month, Ivanauskas was moved to a director of football role, with director of football Anatoly Korobochka assuming the role of interim head coach on March 2. An improved run of form towards the end of the season witnessed Hearts challenge Aberdeen for third spot in the League and UEFA Cup qualification. However, The Dons scored a last minute equaliser in a head-to-head confrontation between the two teams at Tynecastle in May, and eventually finished four points clear in third place.
Just prior to the season's commencement Anatoly Korobochka and Stephen Frail were confirmed as the club's permanent coaching team, however Hearts began their League season disappointingly, with a 1-0 Derby defeat to Hibernian. After several other discouraging results, the Scottish media began to scrutinise why the team was not matching supporters expectations, with one particular area of interest being the coaching structure. As neither Korobochka or Bulgarian assistant coach Angel Chervenkov spoke fluent English, a translator was required to aid management and team communication, a situation Frail admitted was "frustrating" and "not ideal" after a 1-1 draw with Gretna.
On 31 December 2007, Romanov announced that, following five successive defeats which saw the club fall to 10th (third bottom) place in the league, the club would be looking to appoint a 'British-style' manager who would have complete control over team affairs. Since then, Stephen Frail has been the caretaker manager, although it was not made clear at the time that Frail would be manager until the end of the season.
Hearts were defeated 1-0 in the 4th round replay of the Scottish Cup by Motherwell after a 2-2 draw on 21 January 2008. Rangers defeated them 2-0 in the semi-final of the CIS Cup on 30 January at Hampden Park. Hearts then sold their top scorer, Andrius Velička, to Norwegian side Viking Stavanger on 26 February 2008. A 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock on 5 April 2008 meant that Hearts failed to make the "Top Six" of the SPL, for the first time since the split league format was introduced in 2001.
In Laszlo's first game in charge Hearts drew 1-1 with Northern Irish side Glentoran (losing 6-5 on penalties.) Two days later Hearts traveled to Dunfermline where they lost 1-0. Lazslo's first signing came on 20 July 2008 when he signed Ugandan international, David Obua. On the same day Hearts set out on their 10 day pre-season tour of Germany. Laszlo won his first league game in charge of Hearts 3-2 in a thrilling game against Motherwell at Tynecastle. On 11 August 2008, Mike Tullberg signed a one year loan deal with Hearts, becoming Laszlo's second signing.
|7 February 1891||Heart of Midlothian||1||Dumbarton||0|
|14 March 1896||Heart of Midlothian||3||Hibernian||1|
|6 April 1901||Heart of Midlothian||4||Celtic||3|
|11 April 1903||Heart of Midlothian||1||Rangers||1|
|18 April 1903||Heart of Midlothian||0||Rangers||0|
|25 April 1903||Heart of Midlothian||0||Rangers||2|
|28 April 1906||Heart of Midlothian||1||Third Lanark||0|
|20 April 1907||Heart of Midlothian||0||Celtic||3|
|21 April 1956||Heart of Midlothian||3||Celtic||1|
|27 April 1968||Heart of Midlothian||1||Dunfermline Athletic||3|
|1 May 1976||Heart of Midlothian||1||Rangers||3|
|10 May 1986||Heart of Midlothian||0||Aberdeen||3|
|18 May 1996||Heart of Midlothian||1||Rangers||5|
|16 May 1998||Heart of Midlothian||2||Rangers||1|
|13 May 2006||Heart Of Midlothian||1||Gretna||1|
|23 October 1954||Heart of Midlothian||4||Motherwell||2|
|25 October 1958||Heart of Midlothian||5||Partick Thistle||1|
|24 October 1959||Heart of Midlothian||2||Third Lanark||1|
|28 October 1961||Heart of Midlothian||1||Rangers||1|
|18 December 1961||Heart of Midlothian||1||Rangers||3|
|27 October 1962||Heart of Midlothian||1||Kilmarnock||0|
|24 November 1996||Heart of Midlothian||3||Rangers||4|
|Year||Kit sponsor||Main sponsor|
|2002-05||Reebok||-||2005-07||Hummel International||Ukio Bankas|
|Campbell Ogilvie||Managing Director|
|Sergejus Fedotovas||Non-Executive Director|
|Julija Goncaruk||Non-Executive Director|
|Werner Burger||Assistant Manager|
|Angel Chervenkov||Reserve team Coach|
|Anatoly Korobochka||Director of Football|
|Arturas Ramoska||Goalkeeping Coach|
|Steve Banks||Youth Goalkeeping Coach|
|Tom Ritchie||Fitness Coach|
|Darren Murray||Under 19's Coach|
|John Murray||Youth Academy Director|
|Rob Marshall||Head Physiotherapist|
|Andrew Murray||Sports Scientist|
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