Jamie hopes Billy Brown fiasco is a one-off

Jamie MacDonald. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Jamie MacDonald. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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JAMIE MacDONALD believes Hearts need better internal communication with administrators BDO to avoid a repeat of the Billy Brown debacle.

The club’s assistant manager will continue working until after next month’s League Cup semi-final with Inverness, but only after a rethink by those in charge at Tynecastle.

Brown was originally due to leave after last Saturday’s match with St Johnstone, with his contract due to expire on January 31. To maintain continuity ahead of the semi-final, BDO agreed to let him stay on after a meeting with senior Hearts players. MacDonald was one of those involved in the talks.

“Yeah, I was one of the players in the meeting. We knew his contract ran until the end of the month and we were all happy for Billy to keep going,” said the goalkeeper. “Obviously what happens to Billy at the end of his contract, there’s nothing we can do about that. That’s up to the people behind the scenes.

“For the time being, especially with a big semi-final coming up, for us it was vitally important that nothing really changed too much. We need to try to keep things as steady as possible right now. We had the meeting. The rest will be private.

“We definitely hope the communication with the administrators will improve going forward, but we realise how difficult the situation is. It’s the administrators who are in control of the club and, to a degree, it’s difficult for them. It’s not really their place to make some decisions. The sooner we can get out of administration, agree the shares and sign off, the better it will be for us. At least then we’ll see who is going to be in charge and the club can start getting forward.”

MacDonald – speaking to promote the launch of the SPFL’s new sticker album, published by Topps – explained that senior Hearts players expressed their thoughts to BDO during the meeting. That led to Brown being asked to stay on to assist manager Gary Locke for the time being. “There can be times when you need to voice an opinion,” he continued. “The administrators have obviously been involved in football clubs before but they maybe don’t understand some of the day-to-day stuff on the football side.

“I’m sure they are great on the business side but this is completely different. Just like we won’t involve ourselves on their side of things, we don’t know what is best for the club financially. So maybe there was a little bit of that, just a desire to make sure they heard our points, took our views on board. Thankfully it has meant Billy staying on board for a while longer.

“It wasn’t quite the Riccarton Three! Nothing like that. I remember that, I was young at the time – that was a completely different situation.”

Meanwhile, Hearts have rescheduled a league meeting with St Mirren for next Wednesday in order to have Ryan Stevenson available for the League Cup semi-final.

The midfielder has a two-game suspension which would have ruled him out against Inverness after he was sent off against St Johnstone for violent conduct. However, Hearts officials have slotted the home fixture with St Mirren – originally due to be played on the weekend of the semi-final – in next week. Stevenson’s ban now means he misses that match plus this weekend’s trip to Ross County.

“That was one of the reasons why we tried to get the game organised,” Locke told the club website. “I think you can see in the games this season where Ryan’s been missing, he’s been a big loss to the team. Obviously the semi-final is a huge game for the football club and we’ll give ourselves a better chance by having all of our best players on the pitch.

“I’m delighted that St Mirren have kindly agreed to rearrange that fixture. It’s not ideal in as much as we’ve got a game four or five days before the semi-final but at the end of the day it’s great that we’ve got Ryan available for such a big game.”