Hearts manager Daniel Stendel doubts whether Ann Budge's league reconstruction plan will succeed

German admits voting process in Scotland is ‘complicated’
Daniel Stendel doubts whether Hearts' reconstruction plans will succeed.Daniel Stendel doubts whether Hearts' reconstruction plans will succeed.
Daniel Stendel doubts whether Hearts' reconstruction plans will succeed.

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel is not confident that Ann Budge’s league reconstruction plan will succeed when clubs are asked to vote on it.

The German coach admitted Scotland’s voting process is stacked against the owner, who is currently finalising a proposal to expand the Premiership and save Hearts from relegation.

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The Scottish Professional Football League announced on Monday that the Edinburgh club would be demoted to the Championship following the coronavirus shutdown.

Budge hopes the top flight could be enlarged to 14 teams – 16 has not yet been ruled out – but would likely need 11 of the 12 Premiership clubs to vote in favour of her restructuring document.

Working from home in Hannover, Stendel explained why he harbours some doubts. “My experience tells me that the chance is not very big,” he said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine.

“Voting is complicated in Scotland. There can only be one or two votes against and it is usually the case in life that, in the end, everyone looks at themselves. But there is still some hope.”

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Stendel is frustrated that the campaign was cut short with Hearts four points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership after a 1-0 loss at St Mirren in their final fixture before the shutdown.

They had a further eight league games remaining but the SPFL’s call to end the season early means those will not take place.

Stendel joined Hearts in December and instantly took to the surroundings at Tynecastle Park. “There are 20,000 fans – sometimes louder than 50,000 in Hannover,” he said.

His team beat Rangers twice and won a pulsating Edinburgh derby against Hibs at Easter Road, but he added: “Then you come to St Mirren and lose 1-0.”

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He said he did not want to go into further detail about serious injuries and suspensions because “it always sounds like an excuse”.

He hopes a solution can be found to Hearts’ predicament “so that the ball rolls again sometime”.

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