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Hearts part with Locke as Levein lands director role

Heart of Midlothian has parted ways with manager Gary Locke and assistant Billy Brown as the overturn at Tynecastle begins.

New Jambos owner Ann Budge has begun her restructure after taking control of the Edinburgh outfit and is preparing for life in the Championship next season.

Locke and Brown have both been told that they will not be receiving new contracts this summer which has opened the door for ex-defender Robbie Neilson to step up from coaching the U20s to taking over first team managerial duties.

Additionally, former Hearts and Scotland boss Craig Levein has been brought in as the club's new director of football.

Budge said in a statement: "We know it may be an unpopular decision with some of you, but the board has decided that we cannot offer Gary Locke a new contract as manager, at the end of his current contract.

"Please believe me when I say this has been an enormously difficult decision to make. We all know the pressures that Gary and his assistant, Billy Brown, have worked under over the last year.

"They were set an almost impossible task, which they handled with dignity and determination. For that, we are all hugely grateful to both of them.

"Craig Levein will join the club with immediate effect and will assume total responsibility for everything to do with the playing side of the business.

"Robbie Neilson will take over as head coach for the first team and we will bring in a strong support team to work with Robbie."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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