Date: 27th November 2008 at 2:24pm
Written by:

Some of the comments attributed to Campbell Ogilvie in today’s Scotsman made for interesting reading in terms of the way that our football club is being managed these days.

Things have been pretty quiet so far this year from those at the top of the Tynecastle tree(!), and Mr Ogilvie in particular doesn’t tend to go looking for publicity – instead preferring to quietly go about his business as opposed to being in the limelight. It’s an approach that has earned him much respect and praise over the years from many distinguished people in the game, and many of these same people have no doubt been watching Tynecastle from afar in recent times with raised eyebrows that would make Roger Moore jealous, given the fact that he continues to work for someone like Vladimir Romanov, whom it’s fair to say does not command quite the same level of respect from football people in this country.

However Ogilvie had some calming words of assurance about what it’s actually like to work for Mr Romanov, and even drew a comparison between the Russian and Ogilvie’s previous employer David Murray, who initially faced similar problems with the authorities and national press when he swept into power at Ibrox in the mid-’80s. Murray had to work very hard indeed back then to win the respect of the people who could start to portray his club in a positive light, and he did it so successfully that he practically has the press and SFA in his pocket at times these days, something that has ironically been a major problem for Romanov, one of the few people who has had the audacity to comment on this publicly in recent times.

Ogilvie made the valid point that Romanov also had the extra difficulty of being a foreigner in this country as well as someone who was relatively new to the world of football, and that things were never realistically going to go absolutely smoothly from day one given the culture that he was used to. The relative public silence from VR that we’ve seen lately in comparison to the almost daily ‘dial-a-quote’ service that he was offering the press back when he first took over at Tynecastle, would therefore appear to be little more than the result of a harsh learning process he went through during his first two years as owner of the club. It is, according to Ogilvie at least, not an indication that he is any less committed to the future success of Hearts.

Here are some quotes from Ogilvie’s interview:

‘In my time here, I have never doubted Vladimir’s aims. He wants to take the club as far as he can. We must always aim to be at the top while having realism.

‘You always have to aim for the top and see where you end up on account of that. I keep hearing about Vladimir saying he was going to win the Champions League with Hearts; I’m yet to find a direct quote from him on that. I don’t think, being honest, he thought he could come in here and win the Champions League.’

‘We are trying to create a solid foundation here,’ he said. ‘We realise that only actions, not words, will work now.

‘In the short term we have had and will have a situation where we receive funding from our parent company (UBIG] and we are fortunate to have that. The aim, though, is to make the club totally self-sufficient. It is good to have a parent company but we accept here that we have to stand on our own two feet. We cannot rely on outside funding, we must create a model.

‘The main stand development is essential to the club moving forward. It is just a question of timing now, the scheme is in the hands of planning at the moment. It is a case of ‘when’ that will happen, not ‘if’.’

Other interesting revelations in the article include a mention of ‘two positive and major commercial partnerships’ that are due to be announced by Hearts within the next fortnight (any ideas over those?), and the fact that Ogilvie is aiming to reduce the wages to turnover ratio to 50%. He is also at pains to insist that while the club continues to have heady but realistic ambitions, the key to it all is stability, and this is what the club are attempting to focus all of their energies on right now, from the board room all the way down to the dressing room.

It’s certainly refreshing to hear someone like Campbell Ogilvie giving an open interview like this. I think there are many of us who would be seriously concerned about where the club was going if he had become the latest high-profile Scot to jump ship as a result of the Romanovs’ style of management, but the fact that he’s still there and appears to really believe in what he’s doing has to be good news for the club.


5 Replies to “Positive Comments On Hearts From Ogilvie”

  • The fact that Campbell Ogilvie remains at Hearts is one of the few reasons that I don’t let myself succumb to despair and despondency over our future. I just can’t see that someone so obviously respected in the game at a high level would wish to be saddled with a club (or owner) who would bring his name into disrepute. It was also very heartening to read (perhaps in another article) that he had been offered another job about a year ago but turned it down – presumably because he sees us moving forward and wishes to be part of that. I’m happy and am taking positives from this.

  • Agree with all you say itsnomarooned ? when we read the negative stuff in the press and the rumour mill on various internet sites about the turmoil behind the scenes it?s Ogilvie?s continued presence that keeps us sane. By the way it was in the Scotsman article that said he was offered another position: ?I had the chance to leave here for another club about a year ago, when you could say that things were a bit rocky and it would maybe have led to a quieter life, but I am still here.?

  • All I can say is that Vlad had to learn, possible the hard way that his attitude wasn?t really acceptable, although it has always been difficult to suss out his way, as media refused to give him any credit. Campbell must have seen something a lot of people have missed or he would have been off a long time ago. We do tend to moan when things go wrong and rightly so, but I have the feeling (hoping and praying) that they at last have got the jest of things, as the word I have repeated over and over again are being used: STABILITY.
    Hearts FC is no playground and maybe the credit crunch has made them buckle their belts, which in the end seems to have made a difference in seriousness and attitude. There is some genuine football knowledge here, if it is through Campbell or even Vlad himself I don?t know. Some of the players brought in have been good e.g., Nade and Kingston in the current squad. Some of the Lithuanian?s have been good (and scarily bad) and I have no problems with foreigners (being one myself 🙂 I like the development in the youth academy and I am cautiously optimistic about the stadium development. My only question is; why on earth did this have to take so long time?! And did they have to dismantle everything and everyone, including the fans, to get to a place where we actually where for years i.e., third in the league? If they are from the school of breaking you down before building you up then I hope that they are satisfied (with the rubble they almost turned everything into) so that we can start moving forward again. I for once do not want to feel like I have the last two years EVER again (in relation to football I have to point out:). Also, self sufficient clubs are rare, football is no money making business and anyone with some business sense would know that… Wow! The last bit sounded a bit like I have been possessed by Dalian :):)

  • At last – some words from a man we still have some trust in !! And encouraging words too – so, the stadium development is not dead (yet). It’s good to hear him say the aim is to become self-sustaining. I firmly believe its possible, so long as we produce regular good youngsters into the first team. I wonder if one of the commercial partnerships is with Aegon – they currently sponsor the Hearts Breakfast clubs in Lothian schools, but I vaguely remember hearing that the club hoped to undertake other ventures with them. Good news, then…. soon to be followed (hopefully) by a point or 3 against Rangers on Saturday !!

Your Comment