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Vladimir Romanov, the owner of Hearts FC, has always something to say about the clubs he owns. The Lithuanian, 62, usually criticizes his rivals and talks about enemies that only he recognizes. On Saturday, Romanov published his opinion piece on Hearts FC winning the Scottish Cup trophy in the Lithuanian newspaper ‘Kauno diena’ which he owns.
SportsUN.org presents the translation of the original piece.
Seven years ago, when I acquired Hearts FC in the country where the game of football was born, my team surprisingly won the Scottish Cup and finished second in the league. It happened despite the prejudice of referees during my first year in charge.
For the first time I saw referees, who were holding their heads, running to the centre of the pitch when the fans were throwing coins after Saulius Mikoliunas was shown a red card.
An organised discrediting campaign and the club’s destruction started after the successful start in the league. While I, the owner of the club, was transformed from hero to madman. If the madman managed to beat them so how should we call them?
The greats like Presley, Hartley, youngsters Gordon, Webster, pupils from the football academy (which was rewarded with an elite status for professionalism and quality) were redundant and did not have contracts. When I spotted them and signed contracts for five years I received criticism.
For the past couple of years, Hearts FC were seeking and are still seeking good results, thanks to Wallace, Berry, Johnsson, Driver, McDonald, McGowan, Prychynenko, Templeton and other players.
I have successfully and at the right time invited experienced players like Jankauskas and Fyssas. They, along with Skacel, were creating a miracle. Well known teams, such as Celtic and Rangers have conceded the goals at the very first games of the Scottish league. They were helpless and looked like yard teams. They did not manage to resist without the help of referees.
Despite playing at a stadium that looked like a hut, the attendance has risen from 40% to 100%, and media named the season Romanov’s revolution.
After such a successful season, the media’s opinion rapidly changed and the organised Rupert Murdoch campaign started. It was paid by Celtic, and the campaigner did not have any shame ideologically compromising Hearts FC just like in the war.
New fan groups were created and only their opinions were heard. These people were not the real fans, they were media’s provocateurs. Journalists also did some provocation and asked the footballers to take part. I can remember when during the shareholders meeting two photojournalists put on Russian hats and initiated the fight trying to mislead the world. They behaved like animals while not respecting themselves and their readers whom they are lying to every day.
It seems that the independent opinion of the United Kingdom’s media exists only theoretically, in the commercials which are dedicated to dupes. Opinion is being bought, just like the regulations in business, culture, sports and politics. Then I realised that I will have to fight for survival as well, not only fight the organised lies in the football field, which were started by football’s mafia. It would be possible to make it up and make a bargain, just like foulkeses, rickses, andertons and others, but I have chosen to fight. I have called them monkeys with Mowgli as their boss.
I am surprised that I did not make a mistake and revolted at the right time. My image, as a freakish person, was created, because I did not want to live under Mowgli rules.
Referees, simple people, politicians and former slaves of the system are following me today and they began to rise. They understood that they cannot live like that. I remember how the players obtrusively were attacked by the yellow press; it was trying to prepare the players for every game. All the traitors, agents, fired coaches, unnecessary players, former employees became TV stars. The fans were connected into the groups and participated in the campaign of lies against our club.
Then I decided to change the marketing. I started with the chairman George Foulkes and chief executive Phil Anderton, both of whom I threw out of the club.
Later Lord Foulkes spoke and objurgated me in the Parliament, a symbol of democracy in the world, which was broadcast on TV. While watching this show I started to believe how bad I am and that I am destroying my own club.
At that time, the assistant manager was agitating the players not to renew their contracts. I have received information that the manager and five players were talking behind my back about moving to Glasgow. Two of them left for Celtic, but both of them I managed to sell. Webster went to Rangers, but most of the time he sat on the bench.
This is how the ‘old firm’ was fighting with incompetence. They were buying my players through the third club. However, they bogged down with Andrius Velicka, who was bought by the Norwegian club. He played only one game in two years and didn’t score.
I still believe the fairness and orderliness of the people from Glasgow, who were calling themselves gentlemen that will pay for the players and the manager. It had to be £30m. Mere Gordon was sold for £9m. I was told that before my arrival to Hearts FC these gentlemen didn’t pay to everyone, they stole the players. Despite that, I forced them to pay and the club started to earn money. We have received £60m after selling our players.
Skacel, who scored 16 goals in half-a-year, could have become the top scored of the United Kingdom in such a short period of time.
However, he was betrayed by traitors and scored only two goals in four years. After he was made redundant, he came back here and asked to play for Hearts FC. He scored 18 goals this season. I was sorry for this talented footballer, who lost his best years of his career to big money. He can thank to his agent who pushed Burley to the Scottish national team manager position for his services. But he did not manage to deal with the Czech Republic national team.
Hartley had 14 goals in the season. He was one of the players that the Scottish national team was based on. There were five Hearts FC players as well. Driver played for the youth team. I managed to pull Gordon out of the herd and save him. This goalkeeper had a good career in the English Premier League. He, as well as many other players, is worth a separate story.
When the manager, director and agents who are paid by the club were protecting director’s interests and started to terminate the contracts, I realised that the club is being destroyed from within.
The collision between the players was created and media unanimously told the longbow. I had to think not about the results, but how to save the club and survive in the jungle.
I had to make unpopular decisions, replace Scottish professionals with Lithuanians and to appoint the young manager Valdas Ivanauskas as a manager in the place of traitor managers.
I don’t want to remember how the Russian referee, Yuri Baskakov, appeared before the game in Greece and told us ‘I will bury you’.
And he did it. He killed Hearts FC. I don’t want to tell you how the Mafia book such referees who are like prostitutes. At that game even Greek fans left the stadium when they saw the farce and cynicism. In two games against AEK Athens our players were shown three red cards.
After that, I have introduced nine Lithuanian footballers in the club while the main players were the pupils from the football academy. Despite that, we were spoiling the blood for the mafia which wanted us to play in the lower league. We managed to survive in incredible conditions.
This year the whole city of Edinburgh celebrated Hearts triumph in the Scottish Cup.
The win in the semi-finals against Celtic and the victory in the final against a fragile Hibernian team was possible only after the collapse of Murdoch’s empire of lies, after referees managed to get free from the football mafia and after the new Hearts FC manager understood that Skacel and Santana are the greats who were unnoticed for many years, but whom I believed in and whom I paid big money.
We won thanks to Marius Zaliukas, who managed to unite the team despite the various collisions, and thanks to all the players, who did not give up for opponents provocations.
I had to fight on two fronts: against Murdoch’s media in Scotland and against perverts’ media in Lithuania. When the noise came about the late fees at Hearts FC, perverts’ media quickly repeated this noise in Lithuania. But when we won the Scottish cup twice and finished on podium in the league, Lithuanian media closed its eyes.
Apparently, they are created from the same manure. And honest people will have to fight this anger.