'I Thought I'd Bought A Chain Of Garden Centres' - Romanov

HEART of Midlothian chairman Vladimir Romanov has admitted that he bought the club after a "catastrophic mistranslation" during a meeting in Edinburgh two years ago.

The Lithuanian tycoon is now in discussions with his legal team and is certain to sell his majority shareholding.

Mr Romanov said: "I employed Graham Rix because, as far as I was aware, he had been assistant manager of Dobbies in Kinross."

"Then he starts phoning me up telling me that 'training had gone well' but that we 'needed a new playmaker, someone who could put their foot on the ball and control the pace of the game'. I thought he was a nutter so I sacked him.

"I then brought in one of my own people but within a fortnight he was sending me emails about an argument he was having with someone called Walter Smith over the availability of someone called Paul Hartley. I told everyone he had pneumonia and then shipped him off to a mental hospital near Vilnius.

"Now it turns out that Heart of Midlothian is not a medium sized chain of garden centres with branches in Bathgate, Dalkeith, Musselburgh and Galashiels, but is in fact a football club – one of the biggest in Scotland.

"Well that's no use to me. I know nothing about football. But when it comes to running garden centres I'm a bloody genius. Organic, peat-free compost – two bags for a fiver. Freshly cut turf at three-fifty a square yard. That'll shift it."

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Boffins Invent Self-Hoovering Floor

SCIENTISTS at Dundee University have patented what they claim is the world's first self-hoovering floor.

The ingenious device, backed by a £20m grant from Scottish Enterprise, looks like an ordinary floor but has thousands of small holes which are attached to a powerful vacuum motor stored in a cupboard.

At the flick of a switch the suction starts and anything within a five centimetre radius of each hole is removed quickly and cleanly.

Project director Dr Henry Brubaker said his team were now fixing the remaining few glitches in the system.

 "The main problem at the moment is that you have to leave the room when it's switched on otherwise you'll be stuck to the floor.

"We've also noticed that larger objects get stuck in the holes and this produces a noise that makes you want to die."

He added: "We're currently working with carpet manufacturers so that the holes in the carpets line up with the holes in the floor."

A Scottish Enterprise spokesman said: "This is a great investment. Within a few years anyone who doesn't have a self-hoovering floor will be shunned by decent society and forced to live under a bridge."