The Mirror, 01/11/2005, p59 & 60
By SHAUN MILNE
GEORGE FOULKES claimed last night that Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov tried to force him to sack chief executive Phil Anderton.
According to the now ex-Hearts chairman, the Lithuanian threatened to pull out his millions and bury the club.
Foulkes resigned in protest after Romanov went ahead and axed Anderton yesterday.
The MP claimed the Hearts major shareholder ordered him three times over the weekend to betray his friend and colleague and three times he turned him down.
Speaking in London last night, Foulkes told Mirror Sport: “Romanov has been trying to get me to sack Phil since Saturday, but I refused.
“He had no reason other than the fact Phil has had the audacity to stand up against him from time to time and speak his mind – which is his job – but you don’t do that with Romanov.
“He first tried to get me to call a board meeting after Saturday’s game to sack Phil.
“He then came to my house last night asking me to do the same and threatened me. And once again today.”
Foulkes claimed he was left stunned by the visit of Romanov to his home on Sunday night.
He said: “He asked me to help him sack Phil. He told me that if I did not agree then he would take his money and his toys and walk off back to where he came from and leave the club to die. This is now the dilemma for Hearts fans.
“When he came in the club was in dire straits. We saw him as the ONLY option to save the club.
“I don’t know what his plan is or if he has another agenda, but he has turned on us all.”
Romanov had tried to sully the reputations of Anderton and Foulkes when he told Reporting Scotland: “They’ve had over a year and not been able to do what was wanted.
“They’ve had the funds and all my energy but I’ve not had the response I wanted.”
But Foulkes blasted: “That’s ridiculous, as the fans can see and will judge for themselves.”
Roman Romanov, Vladimir’s son, has been appointed chairman and interim chief executive.
GEORGE FOULKES was born on January 21, 1942 and attended Keith Grammar and Haberdashers Aske’s Schools.
He graduated from Edinburgh University where he was President of the Students Representative Council.
Foulkes then became full-time president of the Scottish Union of Students and worked for the European Movement, Enterprise Youth and finally Age Concern Scotland before his election to Parliament in May 1979 as the Labour member for Ayrshire South.
In the 1983 election he became MP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon valley.
He stepped down at the last election, being elevated to Lord Foulkes of Cumnock.
Foulkes is married to Elizabeth Anna who, until recently, was Provost of South Ayrshire Council.
They have three grown up children (Roderick, Jennifer and Alexander) and three grandchildren (Emma, Blair and Glen).
George’s main leisure pursuit is, of course, supporting Heart of Midlothian where he was appointed as Chairman in April 2004.
His two sons are also season ticket-holders at Hearts.
Only last week he was defending Vladimir Romanov, and urging fans to sell shares to the Lithuanian.
But he insisted he would accept responsibility if things went wrong.
WHEN he was dismissed by Hearts as their chief executive yesterday it was the second time in less than a year that Phil Anderton had vacated a top position in Scottish sport.
He was appointed as commercial and marketing director of the Scottish Rugby Union in June 2000 and became chief executive in February 2004.
During his time at Murrayfield their income increased by £11m with the Scotland v England game in February 2004, generating £2.4m, making it the country’s most lucrative sporting event ever.
That match also earned him the nickname “Fireworks Phil” by the media after a pyrotechnics display he had organised before the match upset England coach Sir Clive Woodward.
He resigned from SRU in January 2005 after disagreements over policy and was appointed at Tynecastle on March 21, 2005.
A Hearts fan since boyhood, 39-year-old Edinburgh-born Anderton replaced interim chief executive Sergejus Fedotovas, who stays on at the club as director.
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