Date: 20th May 2008 at 4:45am
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As more and more ‘trusted sources’ are conceding that it’s looking likely that Hearts will announce Mark McGhee and Scott Leitch as their new managerial ‘Dream Team'(!) next week, I’m wondering
if it does indeed come to fruition, that this will be enough to appease the many thousands of fans who have completely lost faith with the club under the Romanovs.

If there’s been one thing that’s been said more often that anyone cares to remember in connection with the apathy towards Hearts this season, it’s the need for the club to appoint a ‘proper manager’. It’s actually gotten to the stage now where people aren’t even bothered about whether they get a GOOD proper manager or not, just anyone that we feel will be doing the job in the ‘conventional’ way that we’re familiar with will do it would seem.

So if we end up seeing Mark McGhee on the news next week being paraded at Tynecastle holding a maroon and white scarf over his head (which appears to be Stockport Jambo’s pre-requisite for ‘believing’!), will that mean that we finally will have our ‘proper manager’, a man who will be in full control of all matters involving the first team that he should have?

We would obviously like to think so, but there will still be doubters, even if McGhee does not appear to be a particularly good candidate for Romanov’s famed brand of ‘puppetry’. These people will perhaps point to the former Aberdeen and Scotland striker’s likely hike in salary (reports indicate that he’d more than triple his salary by going to Hearts) being a ‘sweetener’ that would encourage McGhee to at least be open to the suggestion that certain decisions he makes are to be explained and negotiated with those in the boardroom from time to time. All hypothetical at the moment I know, but given what we’ve seen at our club for the last three years, not altogether unrealistic – even George Burley was having to explain certain decisions, which in the end was one of the main reasons he left.

However I really would doubt that McGhee would come to Hearts to simply be another ‘yes man’. He’ll have seen what’s gone on at the club just like everyone else recently and surely wouldn’t touch it with the proverbial barge pole if he was likely to be the next man subjected to similar treatment. It simply wouldn’t make sense for the man to walk out on Motherwell, a club heading into Europe, to take on such a poisoned-chalice under those circumstances, no matter what the financial benefits would be. Or am I underestimating the power of greed here?

Personally I think that the appointment of McGhee would be enough for the majority of the fans to ‘give it one more season’ to see if the message has finally gotten through to the Romanovs. It’s probably fair to say that most of us had completely given up hope of the club appointing anything other than more of Romanov’s Eastern European buddies and/or the out-of-his-depth Stevie Frail into the manager’s job on a long-term basis (or as long as it can be under VR!), so at the very least this move would pleasantly surprise many of us.

We’ll soon know if this story is in fact true and in due course we’ll also be able to guage just how apathetic towards their club that the fans have actually become – if McGhee gets the job and season-ticket sales continue to be poor, then I think that will be a pretty conclusive answer there. But I would like to think that the appointment of our first ‘proper manager’ since George Burley nearly three years ago (scary isn’t it?), would encourage most of us to turn up and stick it out for at least another season – you never know what might happen……….