John McGlynn determined to lead Hearts through crisis

John McGlynn
John McGlynn
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A BULLISH John McGlynn today came out fighting for Hearts in their hour of need and declared his determination to lead the club through its financial crisis.

In a candid interview with the Evening News, McGlynn admitted he is drawing on every ounce of experience to galvanise his players despite Hearts’ very existence being under threat.

Having only been appointed in June, the 50-year-old intends to remain in his job no matter the state of affairs. He is not prepared to relinquish his position and see the club close after working for years to become manager of Hearts. Coaching staff held a meeting with players at Riccarton yesterday morning in an attempt to offer some reassurance and McGlynn is eager to lead by example as Hearts fight to stay alive.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have moved to wind up the Edinburgh club over unpaid PAYE and VAT totalling almost £450,000. Unless Hearts find that money by next Friday they could be out of business. The club appealed to fans for “emergency backing” in a statement on Wednesday and have been encouraged by the response, with fans buying tickets and shares in their thousands.

McGlynn knows there is no guarantee their efforts will save Hearts. The threat is that next Saturday’s home match with St Mirren could be the last ever, and the manager

intends to show leadership and courage during the most testing of times.

“I’ve worked my socks off to get back to Hearts after going to Raith Rovers. I definitely want to stay here,” he said. “It’s maybe not the greatest time because we haven’t been able to bring players in that I wanted to bring in. Maybe now people understand why with the

money situation.

“It’s a sad, sad situation to be in. It’s depressing. However, I have to rise above that. I’ve got to lead by example and make sure the players are up for the games. Being someone who works very hard for Hearts, who went away and worked extremely hard to get back to Hearts, it’s a position I’d much rather not be in. But it’s one we find ourselves in and one that we need to handle. I’ll do whatever I can to try and get the football club through this difficult period.

“That’s what football managers do. That’s why you get the job, because you have led. It does take leadership. No football coaching course you go on can teach you how to deal with these things because they’re quite unique. You have to just stand on your own two feet and deal with it as best you can.

“It’s certainly different. I’ve handled an awful lot but if I can handle a situation like this and get through it, then I think I can handle anything. You have to pull on all your experience. The statement on Wednesday was quite clear and precise about the situation and how short a period of time we have to find this money. We just hope it can be found and that the football club can survive. The most important thing is Heart of Midlothian Football Club survives.

“We had a meeting yesterday morning with the players and we gave them as much information as we have. We reassured them as best we can but it all comes back to the fact HMRC want £450,000 within a matter of days. It’s up to the club to find that and obviously they are asking the fans to dig deep and back us as best they can.”

McGlynn explained how the lack of income has affected both the squad and results. “Everyone can now see why I haven’t been able to bring players to the club that may have benefited us,” he continued. “We couldn’t get strikers in because the lack of money has been an ongoing thing. This is a new tax bill but another one has just been paid off and that’s why we don’t have the strikers we would want to have. I’ve been trying to get that message out all the time. I couldn’t believe how people couldn’t see that.”