Inside Robbie Neilson's Hearts sacking as fan revolt played key role in decision
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The Hearts boss was relieved of his duties late on Sunday afternoon when he met chief executive Andrew McKinlay in Glasgow. This came after a board meeting earlier in the day where it was decided a change needed to be made following a run of five straight defeats with only one victory in their last seven.
Discussions between influential figures inside and around the club had been going on informally in the immediate aftermath of the defeat to Stephen Robinson’s side, which saw Hearts drop to fourth place for the first time in 2023 and Aberdeen, who ten points behind not so long ago, go into the much-coveted third-place spot.
The best-of-the-rest finish is very likely to once again reward the victor with at least eight games in European football next season. That £5 million bounty along with the severe downturn in results were two key factors in Neilson being given his marching orders, but the Tynecastle support played a significant role as well.
Dozens of fans remained in the main stand on Saturday despite the game having been finished as a contest for some time just so they could tell Neilson to leave his post. There were also chants during the game demanding his departure.
Such a visceral reaction to the defeat and recent results persuaded the club’s board that they had to act now.
Hearts will announce on Monday evening the plan going forward and whether there are any further departures from the coaching staff.