With Romanov having admitted that the club needs to become a self-sustaining business, the media monkeys had decided that Hearts would be holding a month-long firesale of players at knock-down prices. Few Hearts fans would have believed that this would come to pass, of course – and they were proved right.
Sure, the club managed to trim the wage bill a fair bit – but there seems to have been no rush to sell the likes of Driver or Templeton. So it seems to me that the outcome has still left Paulo Sergio with a strong squad, while making some progress towards the financial objectives. A sensible compromise, in other words.
It looks like the club also tried to entice David Obua and Suso Santana to end their contracts 6 months early, but the players opted to see them through. Marian Kello opted not to move to Austria Vienna. The transfers of Jonsson and Stevenson yielded fees of around £ 250k – not bad in the current climate for guys whose contracts were about to end.
Most fans would have been delighted to see our talisman Rudi Skacel extend his time a the club for at least another few months. I love watching Rudi – one of the most talented and graceful footballers I`ve ever seen in a maroon jersey – and his goalscoring really energises the fans.
The only slightly odd move was seeing John Sutton go to Australia on loan until the summer. I firmly believe that Sutton is capable of being much more effective for Hearts than what we have seen so far – so our hope must be that he benefits from a temporary change of scene and returns next season with a strong desire to make his mark at Hearts. It seems that Paulo does not rate his contribution to the team highly enough – although with the a manger`s average time in office being less than 18 months, John should perhaps just bide his time till a new boss comes along !!
A quick summary of the activity I know about –
In – Rudi Skacel (contract extended till June)
Out – Eggert Jonsson
– Janos Balogh
– Dale O`Hara
– Calum Elliot
– Ryan Stevenson
– Conrad Balatoni
– Rob Ogleby
– John Sutton ( 6 month loan)