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SMA chairman hits out at Hearts owner Romanov

Smith, chairman of the Scottish Managers Association, was outraged by comments from Romanov claiming that Scottish coaches are part of a "local footballing mafia" and that the club was staring relegation in the face with interim boss Stephen Frail's time in charge.

But Smith said: "Vladimir Romanov doesn't know anything about Scottish managers, past or present, at other clubs. He should remember that and remember where he is working. We've produced some of the top managers in the game. Alex Ferguson won the Champions League with Manchester United last season and Walter Smith took Rangers to the final of the UEFA Cup. Gordon Strachan has also been very successful at Celtic.

"Mark McGhee is doing very well too right now and only a few weeks ago, he was the man Vladimir Romanov wanted as the new manager of Hearts. He did everything he could to try to entice him to Tynecastle."

Romanov claimed that former caretaker boss Frail almost got his side relegated from the SPL.

"If you look back at the Scottish managers they have had at Tynecastle in recent years, not one of them has done anything that would blemish their record and indeed the majority of them have done very well for the club," said Smith.

"If you look at the most recent one, Stephen Frail, he is just a young man who was thrust into a major role at a Scottish club. He can hold his head high for the way he carried the job out - he did it with dignity, which is saying something considering everything he had to contend with.

"Mr Romanov needs to stop coming out with these comments because they are helping no-one, least of all himself."

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Tribal Football Staff

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