Jim Jefferies revealed he had an other offer before Hearts came calling - Stephane Adam open to Tynecastle return

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The Hearts legend has returned for his fourth stint at the club

Jim Jefferies has revealed he was in discussions with another club about a position before Hearts presented him with an offer he couldn't refuse.

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Nearly nine years since departing as manager the second time, Jefferies is back at the club he led to the 1998 Scottish Cup, ending a 36-year period without silverware.

Jim Jefferies couldn't turn down the offer to return to Hearts. Picture: SNSJim Jefferies couldn't turn down the offer to return to Hearts. Picture: SNS
Jim Jefferies couldn't turn down the offer to return to Hearts. Picture: SNS

He had been sporting director at Edinburgh City and may have been on the verge of moving elsewhere, however, he was given an offer by chair Ann Budge which ticked all the boxes.

“Somebody said to me ‘It’s your club, you can’t turn it down’,” he told the club’s website. “There was never any chance of that.

“Ann timed it well because I was already talking to another club who were terrific. The chairman came across great and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to him. He gave me a few days to think it over but in those few days Hearts came calling and I had a chat with Ann. She put across exactly what it was she was looking for me to do, which suited me.

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“I wasn’t looking for anything full on as sporting director or anything like that. The situation is great and she’s given me a specific task to do which is to help her because she’s got a lot on her plate with other things, as you could imagine.”

On hand for advice

Jefferies will play an important role, working alongside manager Robbie Neilson to bring in players ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, whether it be in the Premiership or Championship.

Additionally, he will bring football experience to the board with a better idea of the machinations on the field, allowing others, such as Budge, to concentrate on other areas with so much going on in and around the club.

Jefferies added: “Robbie knows the club as well as me and if he needs any support there will be no interference, it’ll be a case of if they need anything or any advice then I’m there.

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“It’s a difficult time. We’ve just got to plan for what we know. Robbie’s got to have the final say on players. Robbie will want to bring in his own people and we’ve got to support him to do that and find how best we can do that.

“My role is to help Ann and the Board and advise them on things that have maybe just been lacking attention and some things that have not been working. It’s as simple as that.

“Hopefully we can address these things and get Hearts back to where they should be, challenging at the right end of the table.

“I’m looking forward to it enormously. When it’s your own club that you have such a relationship with and the supporters, it’s exciting. It’s hard to say that when you’re getting on in years! But it is exciting. I’m looking forward to it.”

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Meanwhile, Stephane Adam was one of the former players to comment on the announcement, wishing the ‘gaffer’ “all the best”.

The Frenchman, famous for his goal in the 1998 Scottish Cup final, also revealed to a fan that Hearts would be the only club he would return to football for as a member of the coaching staff.

He tweeted: “If one day Hearts ask me to come back as a technical staff member, I will think about it. Hearts would be the only club that would bring me back in football.”