Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov makes Vincent Tan look like an misunderstood genius if the claims of his former manager Anatoly Korobochka are true.
Korobochka served as manager of the Scottish Premier League club from March 2007 to January of the following year, and he has claimed that he was sacked from the position because he refused to play owner Romanov in a glamour friendly against Barcelona.
Hearts went on to lose the game 3-1, and clearly Romanov felt he could have been the difference.
We played Barcelona in a friendly match and there were almost 60,000 fans there. Ronaldinho was at his peak and [Barcelona] were terrific.
Before the game, Romanov approached me and told me he wants to play in the game. He wanted me to pick him. He wasn’t joking. I refused and told him he had done no training and therefore he couldn’t play. He said to me: ‘Fine, but you will not be the coach for long.’ He sacked me soon after.
Romanov was 60 years of age at the time, and we doubt he was anything like Niall Quinn. None the less it's another great example of the madness of football club owners.
[Edinburgh Evening News]