Date: 7th May 2012 at 11:51pm
Written by:

Hearts played some good football to beat a plucky St. Johnstone team who have been a thorn in our side for the last 2 years. A beautiful first-half move down the right ended with McGowan playing a perfect pass in to the middle where Rudi (who else) expertly guided it into the net.

A Grainger free-kick from the right in the second half was met by a sliding Andy Webster to put Hearts 2-0 up.

The introduction of Derek Riordan with 20 minutes left certainly wakened the home fans up, and he managed a couple of shots at gaol – but Hearts continued to be quick to close down the St. Johnstone midfield whenever they got over the half-way line.

ark Ridgers kept a clean sheet, although he looked a bit nervous on several occasions when failing to get a clean catch or punch – however he is clearly a first-class goalkeeper and will have benefitted from this home SPL debut.

Ian Black put in another excellent performance, managing to last the full 90 minutes despite his hernia problem. This was his final appearance at Tynecastle before heading to pastures new – although I`m sure he shares the fans` fervent hopes what he makes one more appearance at Gorgie – on Sunday 20th May to celebrate a Cup win !!

Let`s hope that the injury to Darren Barr, and Craig Beattie`s recovery, get resolved in time for the big day at Hampden – both are very important players, and I`m sure Paulo Sergio will be happy to get through next Sunday`s final match at Parkhead with no further injuries.

Meanwhile, the papers and radio programs are full of sports comment on the future of Rangers in or out of the SPL. Some good hard-hitting and realistic articles have come from Tam Cowan and Channel 4`s Alex Thomson, demonstrating how the “commercial” interests of Rangers and some SPL clubs are now in direct opposition to the morality of what Rangers have actually done to several clubs, suppliers and UK taxpayers.

The concept that Rangers can continue as a football club owning assets, while creditors fight over a relatively meagre cash fund which will deliver 20p in the pound is morally outrageous

The SPL board have cleverly engineered yet another delay in voting on the proposal to bring in new rules regarding “financial fair play” – allowing Rangers a chance to get their “newco” application in ahead of any rules taking effect. This is clearly a case of the SPL and club chairmen wanting to sit on the fence for as long as possible, until a metaphorical ladder gets put in place to allow them to descend comfortably – probably a blue ladder. Then they`ll vote through punitive measures for the NEXT club to hit hard times – which won`t be Rangers. How about one of these east coast clubs ? Yes? the new rules will make sure there`s no chance of a helping hand from the SPL for them.

Thanks Mr Doncaster and Mr Topping – when will you find an ounce of honesty and admit that the current conflict of interest at the SPL merely reflects the unhealthy stranglehold and lack of true competition which the Scottish football authorities have been happy to tolerate and encourage for over 50 years ?

I`m not so angered by the “newco” scenario – since there doesn`t seem to be a current SPL rule on this. More despicable is the political lobbying by Rangers to convince other clubs and the authorities that they are too “important” to remove from the SPL – the rest of Scottish football depends on the income from Rangers fans and the broadcasting circus that follows them, and Rangers wouldn`t want to see other clubs go the wall. At least, that`s what they claim. This sudden concern for the wellbeing of other clubs is heart-warming, and we should be grateful to have such a caring institution defending our national game. Therefore, I no longer believe these stories from a year or 2 ago about Rangers having taken part in talks with UEFA affiliates about leaving the SPL to play in a new European or English league.

What do you think ? Vote in our poll.

Finally, the recent “profit” of £0.5 million announced by Hearts up to June 2011 – allied to a reduction in debt to £24 million sounded almost too good to be true. Ummmm…basically, it was. It really represented a £7m trading loss compensated by a £7.5m write off of debt by UBIG – and a £12m debt for equity swap.

It seems that Vladimir is taking steps to atone for his past mis-management of the club – however the enormity of the financial task facing Hearts is revealed by those figures. Basically, we need to re-balance our trading by £7m, when our turnover is only £7m anyway.

For the next set of figures, our turnover might be up to £8m, with £2m of player sales ?but I can`t see our wage bill being £4m lower. So we can probably expect another £3m loss in real terms next time. Yikes !!