Comment: ‘Kick in the teeth for Hearts and fans’

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The sale of the Tynecastle car park while Hearts are fighting for their survival is a kick in the teeth for the club and its fans.

The car park is not simply about making life easier for the Jambos, it is an important part of the infrastructure at Tynecastle and their match day operation.

Of course the club should have moved long ago to secure the land rather than leave themselves open to this threat – because this is no bolt from the blue.

The council has been talking for years about selling this land. Hearts, even if they did not feel they were in a position to buy it, surely could have negotiated a deal with the city council that gave them first refusal.

It is a further damning indictment of Vladimir Romanov’s regime. We already know how little regard he had for the long-term future of the club. To see how he failed so glaringly to protect Hearts’ interests here, while lavishing huge sums on often third- rate players, is just another example of that neglect.

The city council, of course, has a duty to make the most out of its assets, especially when it is being forced to make cuts in local services. And it is easy to understand how the local authority may have grown tired of dealing with the club’s previous owner after years of inconclusive talks.

But we also expect the council to support those city institutions, including Hearts and Hibs, which play such an important part in 
Edinburgh life.

Putting the Tynecastle car park up for sale while the club was in administration looks like kicking the club when it is down rather than supporting it. Surely the sale could have been put on hold for at least a few months?

The fans have moved heaven and earth in an effort to secure a brighter future for Hearts. The city should be following their example in just the same way that Hibbies and rugby fans would expect it to back their club and the SRU in their hour of need.