‘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.

A fiver

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."