Hearts chief Ann Budge has moved to clear up what recently sacked boss Craig Levein will be doing around Tynecastle.
The Jambos have recently announced Daniel Stendel as their new manager. He’ll be Levein’s successor, although the former boss still has some responsibilities at Tynecastle.
Speaking to the Daily Record (page 58, 11/12/19), Budge says that he’ll share the sporting director role with Austin MacPhee for now, with the possibility of a longer stay not ruled out.
“I’ve got Craig looking at certain parts of the operation, largely youth but a bit more than that,” she said. “Austin will focus on recruitment and video analysis which is his strength – he’s the stats man.
“We’ve got some important decisions to make and me bringing in somebody else new to the club, I don’t think that’s the best way of doing it. I’ll be going through CVs and talking to people. But I’m not desperate to get somebody in tomorrow.
“Austin and Craig are both under contract until the end of this season. Austin will be doing part of that job and Craig will be doing another part. They could continue in that. If I find somebody I think will be absolutely perfect for taking on what in my mind is the sporting director’s role then Austin, myself and Craig will have to sit and talk about it.”
Levein remains for now
Whatever way you spin it, Levein’s situation at Hearts is a puzzling one. Despite being sacked from his job over a month ago, he has still managed to hold responsibilities at Hearts.
Now it appears like he could win the sporting director’s role judging Budge’s comments, as she certainly hasn’t ruled it out. Levein will be focused on the youth side of things, which isn’t a terrible idea as he’s brought the likes of Aaron Hickey, Harry Cochrane and Anthony McDonald onto the senior stage.
He’ll still be in the background as Stendel takes the first-team reigns. His first game will be against St Johnstone this weekend, a game he has to win if the Jambos are not to drop into the relegation zone.
Levein will no doubt have a careful eye on things from afar.