Hearts hold talks about ripping up Tynecastle pitch immediately

Ann Budge, Craig Levein, Ian Cathro and Scot Gardiner meet groundstaff to discuss the possible replacement of the Tynecastle pitch

Ann Budge, Craig Levein, Ian Cathro and Scot Gardiner meet groundstaff to discuss the possible replacement of the Tynecastle pitch

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Hearts officials are considering ripping up the Tynecastle pitch as early as next week, the Evening News can reveal.

Coaching and management staff are losing patience with the rutted playing surface and are debating whether to replace it immediately. If they decide to go ahead, work could start as early as Monday.

Hearts are due to lay a new pitch this summer as part of their £12m new main stand project. However, they are discussing instant action to remedy the problem between now and the end of the season.

Club owner Ann Budge, chief operating officer Scot Gardiner, director of football Craig Levein and head coach Ian Cathro met groundstaff on the pitch following the 1-1 draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle. They held lengthy talks over what options are available to sort out the threadbare turf.

Hearts' next home game is a week on Wednesday, March 1, against Ross County - meaning any new pitch would have virtually no time to bed in. Club officials will decide over the weekend whether to proceed with a replacement surface, which would cost a significant six-figure sum.