Vladimir Romanov has emerged from hiding – and the former Hearts owner admits the rest of his fortune has gone on restoring a nuclear submarine.
Romanov was the controversial owner of Hearts during an eight-year stint between 2005-2013, his leadership ultimately sending the Tynecastle club into administration. His tenure did bring success too, including Scottish Cup triumphs in 2006 and 2012.
His life outside of football hasn’t escaped controversy either. Romanov is wanted by Lithuanian authorities after allegations of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. The former Hearts man was wanted by Interpol, but is now a Russian citizen after taking refuge in the country.
After many years in hiding and silence, Romanov came forward for an interview with state-owned Russian channel Russia 1. Obviously, it was broadcast from his own personal K-19 nuclear submarine that he once worked on in the Russian Army.
It’s now his home as the former Hearts chief revealed his funds have dried up: “I lost everything – my own private bank, factories, football clubs, but I’ve spent the last of my money on this submarine. It cost me 500,000 dollars to refurbish it. That’s my money gone now.
“This submarine was the one I served on 55 years ago. My plan was to live on it and also turn it into a tourist attraction – a fantastic museum. However, the rest of the villagers wouldn’t let me do that, so I just live on it now.”
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