HEARTS director Sergejus Fedotovas today revealed the criteria for the club’s new manager as two experienced European coaches put their names forward for the vacancy. Ukrainian Oleg Protasov and Poland’s Piotr Nowak have both submitted CVs to Tynecastle in the hope of succeeding Paulo Sergio, who rejected a new contract offer from Hearts on Thursday evening.
Fedotovas stressed that a rewarding deal is available to the man who ultimately replaces Sergio. Along with majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov, he is presently exploring a list of options with the aim of appointing a new manager before pre-season training begins next month.
Protasov, 48, is eager to work in the UK having previously managed Olympiakos, Steaua Bucharest and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. A Ukrainian who also speaks Russian, Greek and English, he is a former manager of the year in Greece. He is particularly interested in the Hearts position and has made it known he is not seeking a large salary.
Nowak is currently head coach of Philadelphia Union in the United States. He is 47 and has managed DC United and worked as an assistant coach with the USA national team. He speaks Polish, English, German, Russian and Turkish, and was twice named manager of the year in the United States.
Both Protasov and Nowak want to further their careers and see Hearts as an ideal vehicle to do so. The fact both speak Russian and could therefore converse easily with Romanov and Fedotovas may be to their advantage, as could their wealth of experience within the game.
Sergio parted company with Hearts after rejecting a new deal on significantly reduced terms than he earned last season. Fedotovas reiterated today that money will be the key factor in any managerial appointment as Hearts prioritise financial prudence. However, experience, reputation and honesty will also be sought in the new incumbent.
“We are looking at a few options at the moment and they all sit within the timing for pre-season preparations,” Fedotovas told the Evening News. “Finance is the key. Nowadays in football, finance is always the key. But I believe we have a very sizeable package to offer.
“We want a person who is willing to undertake the job, to think about the job and not the safety net. We still want a good reputation, we still want a good name that people can trust. We are trying to get the best solution possible so let’s see how we can get on.”
Paul Hartley is another name interesting the Hearts hierarchy following his success in winning the Third Division title with Alloa Atheltic last season. He and Romanov remain on good terms as a result of Hartley’s amicable departure from Hearts as a player in 2007.
Colin Cameron, winner of the Second Division with Cowdenbeath, is also on the list of candidates for the position, as is Portuguese coach Jose Couceiro. However, Couceiro may feel discussing a job which belonged to his good friend Sergio is not a move worth making.