Billy Brown to be given further contract extension

Hearts training'Billy Brown, coaching staff
Hearts training'Billy Brown, coaching staff
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Hearts administrators BDO are ready to extend assistant manager Billy Brown’s contract for another month, the Evening News can reveal.

His current agreement expires in seven days’ time but a one-month extension should be agreed within the next few days. Brown, pictured right, was told in January that his contract would not be renewed when it finished at the end of that month, however BDO granted him a four-week extension until February 28 after meetings with senior Hearts players.

He is expected to be offered another short-term deal whilst the administrators try to negotiate the transfer of Hearts’ ownership to Ann Budge’s BIDCO (1874) Limited.

It will be down to Budge and the board she appoints to decide whether Brown should stay long-term after they take control of the day-to-day running of Hearts. That is expected to be before the end of April. Budge is funding a £2.5m takeover on behalf of the fans’ umbrella group Foundation of Hearts but needs Lithuanian courts to approve the transfer of almost 80 per cent of the club’s shares from Ukio Bankas and Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG).

Gary Locke, the Hearts manager, told the Evening News today why he wants his assistant to remain in place.

“I’m keen for him to stay, just as I was last time,” stressed Locke. “He’s had a big part to play here and he’s a massive help for me. Hopefully we can get things sorted out. Billy’s been involved in football a long time so he’s not been getting too fussed about the situation. Like myself, he just wants to concentrate on the game against Celtic tomorrow, which is the most important thing.”

Locke confirmed that midfielder Callum Tapping is unavailable this weekend due to a knee injury. He was assessed by medical staff yesterday before being ruled out. Callum Paterson and Kevin McHattie return from suspension, with Jamie Walker and David Smith long-term absentees.

Tomorrow’s match programme at Tynecastle will be a special edition in support of Foundation of Hearts. Producers 442 Sports Marketing are celebrating the #createhistory movement of the Hearts support and will make a donation to the Foundation for every programme sold. The programme will feature a free A2 double-sided poster plus an interview with Ian Murray MP, chairman of the Foundation.

“We’d like to thank 44 Sports and the club for getting behind the idea of this very special #createhistory matchday programme,” said Murray. “It looks stunning visually, and the best bit is we are sure it will sell a lot of copies which will benefit the club and Foundation of Hearts alike. My message is: ‘Don’t miss out, grab your copy!’”