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Budge wants 'high-profile and experienced' Hearts manager

Hearts owner sets out criteria for Craig Levein's replacement at Tynecastle.

Ann Budge has been discussing how to replace Craig Levein.
Ann Budge has been discussing how to replace Craig Levein. SNS

Hearts owner Ann Budge is looking for someone "high-profile and experienced" as she begins the search for the club's new manager.

But she says there is no rush to find the right man - one able to take the Tynecastle club into Europe.

Craig Levein was sacked just three days before Sunday's League Cup semi-final after a torrid run of results left them near the bottom of the Premiership.

Hearts went on to lose the Hampden clash 3-0 to Rangers with caretaker manager Austin MacPhee taking the reigns.

'We have to compete with the top clubs in Scotland and to do that we want a very experienced and high profile manager.'
Anne Budge.

Levein was hired as director of football role before being appointed as manager after Ian Cathro was sacked in 2017.

Budge said running the club's football operation was "too big" for one person.

She said: "Our club has changed and so has football so I have no intention of appointing a new director of football.

"I will take as long as it takes to appoint a first-team manager. I am in no hurry, I have no one person in my sights. 

"Running the whole football operation is too big for one person. It is important we have a manager who can focus on the first team. We will make an equally senior appointment as a sporting or technical director.

"I was hopeful we would be able to get through this period. It's not nice to relieve someone of their duties.

"That said, Craig was totally professional, mature. He would have liked longer to achieve what he wanted but he's been in football long enough to know action was needed.

"I wanted to give him a fair crack of the whip. The injuries didn't help but you can't keep talking about injuries. We had the size of squad to compete. Having completed a round of fixtures I had to make the decision I did."

'It may sound strange with the team at the foot of the table, but our objectives have not changed. We must be fighting at the top for European football.'
Anne Budge.

Budge also insisted that paying compensation to secure the right replacement wouldn't be a problem.

She said: "It may sound strange with the team at the foot of the table, but our objectives have not changed. We must be fighting at the top for European football." 

She is now looking to appoint a sporting director who will help build a "consistent style of play"at the club.

Budge said: "I would like to appoint the sporting director soon, hopefully before the new manager.

"We have not had a consistent style of play, but that is what we set out to have. Where we are at the moment though, the short term objective is just to climb the table.

"We have to compete with the top clubs in Scotland and to do that we want a very experienced and high-profile manager.

"Do I regret giving Craig Levein both roles? Possibly yes. Clearly it didn't work so there must be a tinge of regret."

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