George Burley

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Posted by kaori 04/08/2009 @ 21:15

Tags : george burley, soccer managers, soccer, sports

News headlines
Burley adds to Scotland B squad - BBC Sport
Scotland manager George Burley has added to his squad ahead of Wednesday's B international against Northern Ireland after six players withdrew. Livingston striker Leigh Griffiths, Cardiff winger Chris Burke, Rangers defender Andy Webster and St...
BURLEY THANKS SCOTLAND FANS - Sportinglife.com
By Lisa Gray, PA Sport Chief Scottish Football Writer Scotland manager George Burley reckons the fans who made the effort to watch the B international victory over Northern Ireland on Wednesday deserved a medal. A crowd of 2110 - including Rangers...
Fletcher gets final hope - SkySports
Scotland boss George Burley has thrown his support behind Fletcher's appeal. "It's an injustice, really, that, through no fault of his own, he's going to miss the Champions League final," he said. "Unfortunately there is no appeal but I think it's...
Plan B for Burley as call-offs hit fringe game - Glasgow Evening Times
by Thomas Jordan SCOTLAND boss George Burley today made several changes to his B Squad ahead of tomorrow's game against Northern Ireland at Broadwood. Six players all called off this morning, which resulted in Burley drafting in bodies to ensure he has...
Loss of Allan McGregor doesn't worry Scotland boss George Burley - Glasgow Sunday Mail
BOSS George Burley insists Allan McGregor won't be missed by Scotland because he has two talented keepers in David Marshall and Iain Turner to put pressure on Craig Gordon. The national gaffer will play Norwich No.1 Marshall against Northern Ireland in...
Hughes admits he may leave Motherwell - Scotsman
The 26-year-old is out of contract at Fir Park this summer and has been linked with a number of potential suitors in England and Scotland, including Hearts and his first club Rangers. manager George Burley for tonight's B international against Northern...
Leigh Griffiths lights-up international front - ic WestLothian.co.uk
The Livingston teen was a late call-up to George Burley's B squad for last week's 3-0 win over Northern Ireland and he did not disappoint. 'Sparky' left an excellent impression on the Scots boss by turning his cameo substitute appearance into a show...
Fulham's Roy Hodgson is the real Premier League manager of the year - Telegraph.co.uk
That was the year George Burley picked it up for steering Ipswich into Europe. That was the year those who judge the thing took account of factors beyond league success, such as available finance and scale of expectation. In short, that was the year...
Laszlo has written his own chapter in Tynecastle folklore - Scotsman
Quite simply, the guy should be given a knighthood for finally exorcising the ghost of George Burley, which has haunted every Tynecastle incumbent from Graham Rix to Stephen Frail in recent years. Recognition from the media and league sponsors is...
Leeds United: Rob's on Scots' radar - Yorkshire Evening Post
By Phil Hay Leeds United winger Robert Snodgrass is edging towards his first full Scotland cap after catching the eye of national coach George Burley. Snodgrass' sparkling form for Leeds this season has alerted Burley, who contacted the 21-year-old...

George Burley

George Elder Burley (born 3 June 1956 in Cumnock, Kyle, East Ayrshire) is a Scottish football manager and former player. On 24 January 2008 he was appointed manager of the Scotland national team. His nephew, Craig, is also a former footballer.

In 1972 he joined Ipswich Town as an apprentice and made his senior debut against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 1973, being given the job of marking George Best. In 1978 he was a member of the Ipswich side which upset the odds to defeat Arsenal 1–0 in the FA Cup final. However, in 1981 injury forced him out of Ipswich's UEFA Cup final triumph over AZ Alkmaar. Town missed out on the First Division title on the last day of the season, finishing runners-up to Aston Villa.

In 1985 he joined Sunderland after making 500 appearances for Ipswich, and was part of the Sunderland team that slipped into the Third Division in 1987, only to win promotion a year later.

He played for Gillingham in the 1988–89 season, but was unable to prevent them from being relegated to the Fourth Division. He moved back to Scotland in 1989 to play for Motherwell.

He joined Ayr United as a player-manager in 1991, succeeding Ally MacLeod. In his first season he took United to the B&Q Centenary Cup Final and again reached the final of the competition (by then renamed the B&Q Challenge Cup) the following season. However, he did not succeed in taking Ayr back to the Premier League and was dismissed in 1993 for adverse results with the side's place in the First Division in serious jeopardy.

He moved briefly to Falkirk in 1993 as a player before returning to Motherwell as player-coach.

In June 1994 he returned to East Anglia as player-manager of Colchester United. He played seven first team games and managed the club for 20 matches, 8 of which they won, before returning to Ipswich Town the following November.

He was appointed manager at his former club, with Dale Roberts as his assistant, having had illegal talks with Town without Colchester knowing and so compensation was duly paid. During an eight-year reign he took Ipswich to three play-offs and finally won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs at Wembley beating Barnsley 4–2. The following season he guided the club to fifth place and qualification for the UEFA Cup. This earned him the 2000–01 Manager of the Year award. Relegation the following season saw Burley's side struggling at the foot of Football League First Division and his contract was terminated by mutual agreement in 2002.

In 2003, he became interim manager of Derby County while permanent manager John Gregory was suspended. Burley managed to halt Derby's alarming slide towards the relegation zone of the First Division (just one season after relegation from the Premier League) and kept the club up comfortably. Burley was then appointed manager permanently when Gregory was sacked. The following season (2003–04) was often a struggle, with Derby actually finishing a place lower than the season before, but there were signs of improvement. This showed through in the 2004–05 season when, despite spending no money on new players, Burley transformed Derby from relegation contenders to a fourth place finish and play-off semi-finalists. However, things were not as happy as they seemed on the surface with Burley's relationship with director of football Murdo Mackay and the club's board (who sold star player Tom Huddlestone without informing Burley) being very strained. After days of speculation and mudslinging, Burley announced his resignation from Derby in June 2005.

He was then appointed manager of Heart of Midlothian on 30 June 2005. A stunning start to his tenure as Hearts manager saw them top the Scottish Premier League after the first ten games, winning eight of these, including a 4–0 victory over rivals Hibernian – proving themselves to be genuine title challengers. However, he left the club the day after major shareholder Vladimir Romanov, with whom Burley had a notoriously uneasy relationship, announced a bid to take private control of Hearts. A club statement declared his departure was by mutual consent.

Burley was appointed as Head Coach of Southampton on 23 December 2005 following the departure of Harry Redknapp. The club's technical director, Clive Woodward, was moved sideways to a newly created post of director of football as part of restructuring following Burley's appointment, before eventually leaving the club in August 2006. Following the change in control of the club in July 2006, Burley's title was changed to that of "manager". He guided Southampton to the 2006–07 play-offs but lost on penalties in the second-leg of the semi-final after drawing 4–4 on aggregate against his former club Derby County, who went on to win the final.

It was announced on 24 January 2008 that Burley had taken over the position of Scotland manager. It was announced during a press conference with Burley and the Scotland board that he had signed a contract until 2012. He became the third former Ipswich manager to manage his country, as Alf Ramsey and Bobby Robson had before him. Since being appointed, Burley has attended many matches in the SPL monitoring players for the upcoming Scotland friendlies. In his first match in charge, Scotland drew 1-1 with Croatia. In the following two friendlies, Scotland failed to register a victory, with a 3-1 loss against the Czech Republic, and a goalless draw with Northern Ireland. Burley faced heavy criticism following a 1-0 defeat to Macedonia in the opening match of the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign, however Scotland bounced back into contention following a 2-1 victory over Iceland and a subsequent 0-0 home draw with Norway.

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Heart of Midlothian F.C.

Heartslogo.png

Heart of Midlothian F.C. (most commonly referred to as Hearts) are a football club from Edinburgh, Scotland, who play in the Scottish Premier League. They are one of the two principal clubs in the city, the other being Hibernian. Hearts were the only east coast team invited to join the inaugural Scottish Football League competition in 1890. Hearts have won the League title four times, the Scottish Cup on seven occasions, and the Scottish League Cup four times.

The all-seated 17,420-capacity Tynecastle Stadium in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh has been the club's home since 1886. Tynecastle Stadium has hosted nine full Scotland international matches, although only two of these games occurred after the Second World War.

Russian-Lithuanian businessman and banker Vladimir Romanov has been the major shareholder of Hearts since he bought Chris Robinson's stake in 2005.

The earliest mention of Heart of Midlothian in a sporting context is a report in The Scotsman newspaper from 20 July 1864 of The Scotsman vs Heart of Mid-Lothian at cricket. It is not known if this was the same club who went on to form the football club, but it was common for football clubs in those days to play other sports as well.

Hearts were founded around 1874. They are reputedly named after a popular local dance hall, which in turn took its name from the novel The Heart of Midlothian by Sir Walter Scott. The first Hearts Captain, Tom Purdie, stated that they may have played in 1873. They initially played at The Meadows, Powburn and Powderhall before moving to the Gorgie area in 1881. They moved to their current Tynecastle site in 1886.

Hearts had considerable success in the early years of the Scottish Football League, winning the league championship in 1895 and 1896. They also won four Scottish Cups in a 15 year period from 1891 to 1906.

The club then went from 1906 to 1954 without winning a major trophy before enjoying a decade of success between 1954 and 1963. Under the managership of Tommy Walker Hearts won the League twice, in 1958, with a record 62 points and 132 goals scored (Still the Scottish 'Top' League Record) and only 29 against in 34 matches, and in 1960. Hearts also won the Scottish Cup in 1956 and the Scottish League Cup four times, in 1954, 1958, 1959 and 1962. This glorious period for the club contained many top, now legendary, names such as Alfie Conn, Sr., Willie Bauld, Jimmy Wardhaugh, John Cumming, Dave Mackay and Alex Young. In 1964–65 Hearts lost 2–0 to Kilmarnock on the last day of the season to lose the league title to them on goal average. Subsequently Hearts were instrumental in pushing through a change to use goal difference to separate teams level on points.

From the mid 1960s Hearts went into decline. After the advent of the ten team Premier Division in 1975 they were relegated for the first time in 1977. Promotion followed in 1978, but several seasons were spent yo-yoing back and forth from the Premier League to the First Division. The major problem for Hearts at this time was an antiquated company structure which was a massive disincentive to anyone to invest in the club. When the board of directors finally resigned after Hearts failed to regain their Premier Division status, however, the arrival of chairman Wallace Mercer led to a revival in the club's fortunes. The club came within 10 minutes of winning the league in 1986 before two goals by Albert Kidd denied them; losing out on goal difference. Hearts finished runners-up again in 1988.

The early 1990s the club struggled to settle on a manager. Within a 2 year period, Joe Jordan, Sandy Clark and Tommy McLean were all sacked. One of the only bright points in this period was the run of 22 games in a row without defeat against arch-rivals Hibernian, including the 2–1 triumph in the fourth round of the 1994 Tennents Scottish Cup at Easter Road, with Wayne Foster grabbing the late winner.

In 1998, Hearts beat Rangers 2–1 to lift the Scottish Cup under the management of Jim Jefferies.

In recent seasons, Hearts have usually been competing for third place in the Scottish Premier League. They finished third in 2003 and 2004, and reached the inaugural group stages of the UEFA Cup in 2004–05, but finished bottom of their group, despite a victory over FC Basel. During the 2004–05 season, they finished fifth in the league.

In 2004, then club CEO Chris Robinson announced plans to sell Tynecastle, which he claimed was “not fit for purpose”, and instead have Hearts rent Murrayfield from the Scottish Rugby Union. This move was deemed necessary due to the club’s increasingly large debt. The plan was very unpopular with supporters, and a campaign, entitled Save Our Hearts, was set up to try to block the move. As Robinson and his supporters had a slight majority of the club’s shares, a preliminary deal to sell the stadium was struck with the Cala property development company for just over £20 million.

In the midst of Hearts financial difficulties in late 2004, Russian-Lithuanian multi-millionaire Vladimir Romanov began to be involved with the club in what was styled the “Romanov Revolution”. After Romanov began negotiations to purchase a large portion of Hearts’ shares, the impending sale of Tynecastle was called off, much to the relief of the majority of supporters.

In February 2005, Romanov purchased 29.9% of the share capital, taking effective control of the club. He then increased his holding to 80% by December 2005 and thus gained full control of the club. Romanov also arranged for a £4,500,000 loan due to Scottish Media Group to be paid off by his investment bank.

Romanov said that his ultimate aim is for Hearts to win the Champions League. His early actions included bringing on former Rugby Union chief Phil Anderton as CEO in 3 March 2005. On 9 May 2005, manager John Robertson resigned, a move which was greeted with much dismay among supporters because Robertson had been a great player for Hearts. Former Ipswich Town and Derby County manager George Burley was hired on 30 June 2005 to replace him.

As the season began, the combination of Vladimir Romanov's financial backing and the appointment of George Burley led many Hearts fans to believe that they could win the SPL championship in 2005–06. Signings such as Edgaras Jankauskas, Rudi Skácel and Takis Fyssas, allied to existing players Andy Webster, Steven Pressley, Craig Gordon, and Paul Hartley meant that Hearts built a team which made an outstanding start to the season. Hearts won their first eight SPL games, including a 1–0 win over reigning champions Rangers.

After leading the Jambos through ten undefeated SPL appearances, and guiding them to the top of the league table, Hearts and Burley parted ways on 22 October 2005, just hours before their Premier League match with Dunfermline Athletic. A club statement after the game declared that the departure of Burley had been mutually agreed and that there were "irreconcilable differences" between Burley and the Hearts board. Throughout his short spell in charge rumours had persisted that the relationship between Burley and Romanov was uneasy. It had also been reported that Romanov had signed players without Burley's consent.

John McGlynn was put in temporary charge of the team following Burley's abrupt departure. During McGlynn's tenure of four games, Hearts lost their first league match of the season against rivals Hibs. Following this match, the chief executive Phil Anderton was dismissed on 31 October 2005. The chairman, George Foulkes resigned in protest at Anderton's dismissal. Romanov's son, Roman Romanov, was appointed as chairman and acting chief executive.

Vladimir Romanov's concerns with the fairness of refereeing developed during this period. This started after Hearts made complaints after a match with Rangers in the 2004–05 season during which the referee Hugh Dallas controversially awarded a decisive penalty kick late in the match on the basis of advice from his linesman Andy Davis. There were also complaints after the dismissals of Craig Gordon against Falkirk, Edgaras Jankauskas against Hibs and Saulius Mikoliunas against Rangers. Romanov called for a replay of each of these matches, but this was refused and Romanov was rebuked by the SFA.

On 7 November, Graham Rix was appointed as head coach. Hearts' title ambitions suffered a major setback when they lost 3–2 to Celtic on 1 January 2006. On 7 February 2006, reports were made indicating that Rix had told players who were apparently disgruntled at being left out of the team before a match against Dundee United that Romanov himself was picking the team and was "pulling the strings". While it was well-known that Rix was not in charge of player transfer policy, it had not previously been confirmed that he was not in charge of selecting the team either.

Part of the fallout from this match was that the agent of Andy Webster indicated that Webster would not extend his contract with Hearts, which was due to expire at the end of 2006-07 season. During April 2006, Vladimir Romanov put Andy Webster on the transfer list, claiming that he could not trust the player.

Graham Rix was sacked as Hearts manager on 22 March 2006 along with the club's Director of Football, Jim Duffy, who had only been appointed one month previously. Shortly afterwards, former FBK Kaunas coach Valdas Ivanauskas was appointed interim head coach of the first team until the end of the season.

Nonetheless, on 2 April 2006 Hearts eased into the Scottish Cup Final after a 4–0 victory over Hibs. A 1–0 win over Aberdeen on 3 May at Tynecastle guaranteed second place and a place in the Champions League qualifying rounds for the following season. It also meant that Hearts were the first club to break the total dominance of the Scottish Premier League by the Old Firm since Motherwell in 1995. Hearts then won the Scottish Cup by beating Scottish Second Division side Gretna in a penalty shootout after the final had finished 1–1.

Valdas Ivanauskas was confirmed as head coach on a permanent basis during the summer of 2006 following the Scottish Cup victory. However, a pre-season tour of Austria saw no new signings. Eventually, on the eve of the SPL season, Hearts announced the capture of Chile striker Mauricio Pinilla on a season-long loan. PAOK Salonika's Christos Karipidis and Tiago Costa, a full back from Benfica B were also signed, while in the final week of the transfer window three further Lithuanian players - Marius Žaliūkas, Kęstutis Ivaškevičius and Andrius Velička - joined on loan from FBK Kaunas. Hearts fans still anticipated the arrival of "two World Cup stars" but were left disappointed when the club announced that the final piece of business of the transfer window would be to sign the previously-loaned striker Roman Bednář on a permanent deal.

Hearts played their home 2006/2007 European Champions League games at Murrayfield Stadium, rather than in their home ground Tynecastle. A combination of Tynecastle falling short of UEFA requirements in terms of pitch size and hospitality facilities, and Murrayfield's greater capacity, meant that Murrayfield was the preferred choice for the Tynecastle board. Hearts won their second round qualifying tie against Bosnian champions Široki Brijeg 3–0 on aggregate, but were defeated 5–1 on aggregate by AEK Athens in the final qualifying round. The Greek side won 2–1 at Murrayfield due to two late goals and then won 3–0 in the Athens Olympic Stadium. Hearts had one player (Bruno Aguiar) sent off in the first leg and two players (Julien Brellier and Neil McCann) sent off in the second leg.

The loss in the final qualifying round meant that Hearts dropped into the UEFA Cup first round against Sparta Prague. In this competition they lost 2–0 at a muddy Murrayfield in the first leg and they were eliminated after a 0–0 draw in Prague in the return leg on 28 September 2006.

Following an inconsistent start to their League campaign, head coach Valdas Ivanauskas took a sabbatical from his role on 23 October. Club owner Vladimir Romanov, who stated "I have full confidence in Valdas and look forward to his return", appointed the club's sporting director, Eduard Malofeev, as interim head coach. Further off-field disruption ensued four days later when Romanov warned his players that they would all be put up for sale if Hearts did not win their match against Dunfermline Athletic the next day. Captain Steven Pressley, flanked by senior players Paul Hartley and Craig Gordon, responded with a statement voicing the players' unhappiness at affairs at the club, stating in a pre-match media conference ahead of Dunfermline's visit that there was "significant unrest" in the dressing-room. The game was drawn 1–1.

The repercussions from the press conference stretched over several months and eventually led to the departure from the club of two of the so-called Riccarton Three. Pressley was dropped for a match against Falkirk on 13 November and named as an unused substitute for a 1–0 defeat by Rangers on 19 November. Hartley was only used as a substitute in the former game. Pressley eventually left Hearts on 9 December, with accompanying press releases stating that this was an amicable agreement. He joined rivals Celtic on 1 January 2007 and captained his new squad to a 2–1 victory at Tynecastle on his first return to Edinburgh. Hartley also moved to Celtic during January 2007, in a £1.1 million transfer on 31 January. This only left Gordon, who was dropped for matches away to Dundee United and Rangers in December and January respectively, as the only member of the trio to remain at Hearts beyond the January transfer window.

Hearts failed to win a game under the management of Eduard Malofeev, who took control during Ivanauskas' sabbatical. Hearts lost at Celtic and Hibernian - a result which eliminated Hearts from the CIS Cup - and at home to Rangers. He remained as caretaker manager until late November 2006 when, despite media reports anticipating the appointment of Eugenijus Riabovas, Ivanauskas returned to resume his duties as club manager.

For the second consecutive pre-season Hearts visited Austria, although on this occasion the side also played four tour matches in Germany. Only one pre-season match was played in Edinburgh, a "glamour friendly" against FC Barcelona at Murrayfield Stadium, which attracted Hearts' largest ever attendance for a "home" match which was in fact Barcelona's home game. Several Lithuanian players left the club during the close-season, while two more Audrius Ksanavičius and Ričardas Beniušis arrived on loan from FBK Kaunas. Other summer signings included Rubén Palazuelos from RS Gimnástica de Torrelavega and Michael Stewart, who returned to the club after two seasons with rivals Hibernian. Scottish international goalkeeper Craig Gordon moved to Sunderland for £9 million in early August. This fee meant that Gordon was the most expensive Hearts and Scottish player ever, and the most expensive goalkeeper in British football history.

Just prior to the season's commencement Anatoly Korobochka and Stephen Frail were confirmed as the club's permanent coaching team, however Hearts began their League season disappointingly, with a 1–0 Derby defeat to Hibernian. After several other discouraging results, the Scottish media began to scrutinise why the team was not matching supporters expectations, with one particular area of interest being the coaching structure. As neither Korobochka or Bulgarian assistant coach Angel Chervenkov spoke fluent English, a translator was required to aid management and team communication, a situation Frail admitted was "frustrating" and "not ideal" after a 1–1 draw with Gretna.

On 31 December 2007, Romanov announced that, following five successive defeats which saw the club fall to 10th (third bottom) place in the league, the club would be looking to appoint a 'British-style' manager who would have complete control over team affairs. Since then, Stephen Frail has been the caretaker manager, although it was not made clear at the time that Frail would be manager until the end of the season.

Hearts were defeated 1–0 in the 4th round replay of the Scottish Cup by Motherwell after a 2–2 draw on 21 January 2008. Rangers defeated them 2–0 in the semi-final of the CIS Cup on 30 January at Hampden Park. Hearts then sold their top scorer, Andrius Velička, to Norwegian side Viking Stavanger on 26 February 2008. A 0–0 draw with Kilmarnock on 5 April 2008 meant that Hearts failed to make the "Top Six" of the SPL, for the first time since the split league format was introduced in 2001.

On 22 May 2008 reports came out that caretaker manager Stephen Frail was on his way out of Tynecastle as he was not part of the new regime.

After a search spanning six months and 10 days, Hearts finally announced the appointment of Csaba László as their new manager, on 11 July 2008.

In Laszlo's first game in charge Hearts drew 1–1 with Northern Irish side Glentoran (losing 6–5 on penalties.) Two days later Hearts traveled to Dunfermline where they lost 1–0. Lazslo's first signing came on 20 July 2008 when he signed Ugandan international, David Obua. On the same day Hearts set out on their 10 day pre-season tour of Germany. Laszlo won his first league game in charge of Hearts 3–2 in a thrilling game against Motherwell at Tynecastle. On 11 August 2008, Mike Tullberg signed a one year loan deal with Hearts, becoming Laszlo's second signing, but his career in Edinburgh was set back by recurring injury problems.

On 27 August 2008, Hearts went out of the Scottish League Cup, losing 4–3 on penalties to Airdrie United with the game being goalless after extra time.

In November 2008, after a series of inconsistent results associated with a lack of firepower, Hearts strung together a series of five consecutive wins. The latter of these was a 2-1 victory over Rangers. This saw them rise to third in the SPL.

However Hearts' strike force had only managed to score 2 goals in 19 games and was looking ineffective. After a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park, there followed a draw at home against Dundee United, a defeat at Pittodrie and a 0-0 draw against Hibernian.

On 11 January 2009 they knocked local rivals Hibernian out of the Scottish FA Cup at Easter Road with Christian Nade and Gary Glen scoring in each half. The game finished 2-0.

Hearts beat Kilmarnock 2-0 at Rugby Park and beat Inverness 3-2 at Tynecastle, but in the last game of January were beaten by Hamilton at New Douglas Park. On the closing day of the transfer window, Hearts sold their captain and Scottish international defender, Christophe Berra to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

On 7 February Hearts were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Falkirk with Steve Lovell scoring the winner and Marius Zaliukas sent off for assaulting Carl Finnigan. Hearts boosted their chances of a third place finish and qualification for the Europa League with a 2-1 win over 5th-placed Aberdeen, Christian Nade cancelled out Darren Mackie's opener on the stroke of half time before Andy Driver scored the winner in the second half.

On 28 February Hearts beat fellow 3rd place hopefuls, Dundee Utd 1-0 at Tannadice with Michael Stewart's second half stike. This moved them 5 points clear in 3rd place, following which Hearts then defeated Motherwell 2-1 at Tynecastle with a last minute goal from Ruben Palazuelos.

Hearts visited Easter Road on 14 March and lost 1-0 through Steven Fletcher's goal. Hearts then took themselves to Ibrox where they found themselves 2-0 down at half time but a spirited second half changed the course of the match with Christos Karipidis and Ruben Palazuelos both netting to make it 2-2.

A sensational weekend for Hearts occured on the 4th April. Dundee only managed to get a 2-2 draw with Hibernian and Motherwell suffered a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen. Hearts successfully managed to defeat Kilmarnock 3-1, coming from a goal behind. Calum Elliot on his first star for Hearts this season bagged a brace and Bruno Aguiar scored in the second half to ensure the home side run out comfortable winners. These results extended Hearts lead in 3rd place to 7 points ahead of Aberdden and Dundee United, leaving them only 12 points behind the Old Firm, with only 2 games to play before the split. This result also ensured Hearts of a top 6 finish, which they had failed to achieve for the first time in the clubs history in the 07/08 season.

Hearts traditional rivals are Hibernian (Hibs). Hibs were formed by a local Catholic church (church founded teams being common in football's early days), and as such was predominantly made up of Irish immigrants. Hearts lobbied hard for the admission of Hibernians (as they were initially called) into the Scottish Football Association, who initially forbade member clubs to play a side not made up of "Scotchmen". Hearts played several "illegal" matches with Hibs - being fined every time, which resulted in the two clubs playing another match to pay the fine off - until the SFA acquiesced.

The first derby match was on Christmas Day 1875, when Hearts beat Hibernians 1–0. After their five-game struggle for the EFA Cup in 1878, that the two clubs became the dominant ones in Edinburgh. Hearts won 3–2 after 0–0, 1–1, 1–1 and 1–1 draws. The clubs' most notable meeting occurred in the 1896 Scottish Cup Final, played on 14 March 1896, Hearts winning 3–1 at Logie Green Park (the ground of St. Bernard's) in the only final played outside Glasgow.

The original Hearts football strip was all white shirts and trousers with maroon trimmings and a heart sewn onto the chest and Hearts played in these colours until 1876. For one season they played in red, white & blue strips, the colours of a club called St. Andrew they had absorbed (who had taken their name and colours from St. Andrew's University where they were students), but when the strips were washed the colours dyed to the famous maroon of today (usually with white shorts). The colour maroon has been famously associated with Hearts ever since. In the 2008-2009 Hearts famous maroon and white kit was changed to a full maroon kit however the maroon and white sea of fans has not changed.

Hearts' badge is a heart based on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the Royal Mile.

The club's two mascots are Tynie and Teenie Tiger. Replacing the outgoing Josh and Jemma Jambo, they first appeared at Tynecastle on 6 August 2006, when Hearts beat Celtic 2–1 thanks to a late goal scored by Roman Bednar.

The famous Hearts Song was written and performed by Scottish comedian Hector Nicol, a St. Mirren fan. The more modern Hearts Song is was performed by "Colin Chisholm & The Glasgow Branch". It is played before every game at Tynecastle.

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Derby County F.C.

Badge of Derby County F.C.

Derby County Football Club is a professional football club based at Pride Park Stadium in Derby, England, playing in the Football League Championship.

The club was founded in 1884 and is notable as being one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888. It is therefore one of only eleven clubs to have appeared in every season of league football since its inception. Derby's competitive history includes two spells as English League Champions, one FA Cup title and an appearance in the European Cup semi-finals. The club is nicknamed The Rams in tribute to its links with The First Regiment of Derby Militia, which took a ram as its mascot and the song The Derby Ram as its regimental song.

Derby County F.C. was formed in 1884 as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club in an attempt to give players and supporters a winter interest as well as secure the cricket club extra revenue. The original intention was to name the club “Derbyshire County F.C.” to highlight the link, though the Derbyshire FA, formed in 1883, objected on the grounds it was too long. Playing their home matches at the cricket club’s the Racecourse Ground 1884/85 saw the club undertake an extensive programme of friendly matches, the first of which was a 6-0 defeat to Great Lever on September 13, 1884. The club’s first competitive match came in the 1885 FA Cup, where they lost 7-0 at home to Walsall Town.

Arguably the most important result in the club’s history came in the following seasons FA Cup, when a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa, already an emerging force in English football, helped establish Derby County F.C. on the English football map, helping the club to attract better opposition for friendlies and, in 1888, an invitation into the inaugral Football League. They opening day of the first ever league season was September 8, 1888, when Derby came from 3-0 down away to Bolton Wanderers to win 6-3, though the club ultimately finished 10th out of 12 teams. They absorbed another Derby club, Derby Midland F.C., who had been members of the Midland League, in 1891, leaving them as Derby's sole professional football club. Steve Bloomer, generally considered to be Derby County's best-ever player, joined the club in 1892. In 1895 the club moved to a new stadium, The Baseball Ground (so called because it was previously used for baseball), which became their home for the next 102 years, and adopted their traditional colours of black and white. Although Derby were inconsistent in the league, though they did finish runners-up to Aston Villa on 1896 as well as achieving a number of third place finished, they were a strong force in the FA Cup, appearing in three finals in six years around the turn of the 20th Century, though lost all three, in 1898 (3-1 to Nottingham Forest, 1899 (4-1 to Sheffield United) and 1903 (6-0 to Bury . Bloomer was sold to Middlesbrough, due to financial constraints, in 1906 and the club subsequently suffered it's first ever relegation following season , but under Jimmy Methven's management they re-signed Steve Bloomer and regained their First Division place in 1911. In 1914 they were relegated again, but instantly won the Second Division to get promoted (though World War I meant that they had to wait until 1919 to play First Division football again). After two seasons, they were relegated yet again in 1921. However, the appointment of George Jobey in 1925 kickstarted a successful period for the Rams and, after promotion in 1926 the club became a formidable force, with high finishes from the late 1920s and all through the 1930s. , including finishing runners up twice.

Derby were one of several clubs to close down during the Second World War but restarted in the early 1940s, in part due to the persistence of Jack Nicholas and Jack Webb. Aided by the adding of Raich Carter and Peter Doherty, who had both been stationed in Loughborough during the War, Derby were one step ahead of the opposition when competitive football resumed with the 1946 FA Cup and won their first major trophy with a 4-1 victory over Charlton Athletic The League restarted the following season after a break due to World War II and, under the management of Stuart McMillan, as well as twice breaking the British Transfer Record to sign Billy Steel and Johnny Morris to replace the retired Carter and Doherty, finished fourth and third in the 1948 and 1949 seasons respectively, before a steady decline set in and the club was relegated in 1953, after nearly 30 years in the top flight, and again in 1955 to drop to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history. Harry Storer led Derby back into the second tier at the second attempt in 1957, though the club progressed no further over the next decade under either Storer or his successor, former Derby player Tim Ward.

In 1967, Brian Clough took over and led them to their greatest glory. Having clinched the influential signing of Dave Mackay, Derby were promoted to the First Division in 1969, finished fourth in 1970, got banned from competing in Europe due to financial irregularities in 1971, and won their first ever Football League Championship in 1972. Though Derby did not retain their title the following season, they did reach the semi-finals of the European Cup. They lost to Juventus in a controversial match which was subject to subsequent allegations that the Italian club had bribed the match officials, leading Clough, to call the Italians "cheating bastards". Clough's frequent outspoken comments against football's establishment eventually led to him falling out with the board of directors at the club, and Clough left in 1973. Despite the departure, Derby's League success was repeated in 1974-1975 season when they won the title under Dave Mackay. However, Derby's form declined towards the end of the 1970s and they went down to the Second Division in 1980. Though they challenged well in their first season, Derby's stay in the Second Division was not a happy one and they were relegated to the Third Division for only the second time in their history in 1984.

After the relegation, the club appointed Arthur Cox who turned the club around with successive promotions in the mid 1980s to get the club back into the old First Division in 1987. The financial backing of new Chairman Robert Maxwell saw starts such as Peter Shilton, Mark Wright, Dean Saunders and Ted McMinn bought to the club, and they finished fifth in the 1988-89 season However, English clubs were banned from European competition at the time following the Heysel Stadium Disaster, so the Rams missed out on their place in the UEFA Cup A lack of further investment from Maxwell lead to a decline shortly after. With Maxwell soon dead, the club was relegated back to the Second Division in 1991. At this time, local newspaper businessman Lionel Pickering became the majority shareholder of the club. In 1992 Derby paid £2.5 million for Notts County central defender Craig Short, at time - and for five years afterwards - the most expensive player to be signed by a club outside the top flight. Cox resigned in late 1993 citing health problems, and Roy McFarland returned as manager. McFarland failed to get the side anywhere near the top of the division apart from a defeat at the hands of Leicester City in the 1993-94 play-off final and was sacked in 1995. Jim Smith was then appointed as the club's new manager. Although the season started slowly, the signing of sweeper Igor Stimac in the early autumn proved pivotal. Throwing his brief of 'a top-half finish' out the window, Smith guided the Rams to a second-place finish and the Premier League, now the top flight of English football. After several seasons of progress, which also saw the club move into the new 30,000-seat Pride Park Stadium for the 1997-98 season, a sudden decline in form saw Smith resign, to be replaced by former players Colin Todd, who lasted just 3 months, and John Gregory and the Rams were relegated after a six year stay in the top flight, in 2002.

Derby County's relegation saw the club enter a serious financial crisis, which forced them to sell many key players. Gregory was later suspended from his managerial duties over alleged misconduct and former Ipswich Town boss George Burley was brought in. After finishing 20th in the 2003-04 season, a dramatic improvement in the 2004-05 season saw Derby finish 4th in the Football League Championship, qualifying for a promotion play-off spot, though they lost in the semi-finals to Preston North End. Soon afterwards, Burley resigned citing differences between himself and the board. He was replaced by Bolton first team coach,Phil Brown. Brown failed to find much success in the job, however, and was sacked in January 2006, after a bad run of results. Terry Westley, the academy coach at the time, took over first team duties until the end of the season and saved Derby from relegation.

A consortium of local businessmen led by former vice-chairman Peter Gadsby bought the club, reducing its debt and returning Pride Park Stadium to the club's ownership in the process. In June 2006, former Preston North End boss Billy Davies was appointed Derby County's new permanent manager. In his first season, Davies took Derby to the Championship play-offs, where they beat Southampton on penalties in the semi-finals before defeating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 with a second-half Stephen Pearson goal at the new Wembley Stadium to secure a return to the Premier League and the associated £60m windfall. In October 2007, Peter Gadsby stepped down as Chairman to be replaced by former Hull City owner Adam Pearson. After a poor start to the season, manager Billy Davies left by mutual consent in November. He was succeeded by Paul Jewell, who failed to save the club from relegation. Derby became the first club to be relegated from the Premier League in March, recorded the Premier League's lowest-ever points total and equalled Loughborough's 108-year Football League record of going through an entire season with only one win.

Derby's match at home to Sheffield United on 13 September 2008 generated much media coverage as it was approaching a year since Derby's last league win, a run which saw the club break the English league record for most matches without a win. Just four days short of the anniversary of the 1-0 victory over Newcastle, Rob Hulse scored against his former club as Derby ran out 2-1 winners, earning Paul Jewell his first league win as Derby boss at his 27th attempt. Despite taking the club to the League Cup semi-final, the club's first major cup semi-final since 1978, where Derby lost 4-3 to Manchester United over two legs, Jewell resigned as manager in December 2008.. He was replaced by Nigel Clough, son of the club's legendary manager Brian, who had successfully managed nearby non-league club, Burton Albion.

Derby County's original colours (right) were amber, chocolate and blue, though by the 1890s the club had adopted its now traditional colours of black and white, still in use today. The colours of away kits have varied widely, and although they are usually yellow/gold or blue, the colour for the away kit for the 2008-09 season is fluorescent green, and was first shown to the general public on 12 August 2008. The club also introduced a surprise third kit on 30 August 2008. Similar in design to the club's away kit of the 1970s, being designed with blue and white stripes and reminiscent of the Argentina strip, the style was re-introduced following feedback from fans who said it was one of their favourite kits from the club's past.

Like most old football clubs, Derby County did not initially have any badge displayed on their shirts. Their first badge was introduced in 1924. The badge consisted of a circular shield spilt into three equally sized sections, representing the club, its fans and the area, in three equally sized sections, all containing items traditionally associated with the city of Derby: a Tudor rose and a crown in one section, a buck in a park in the second and a ram's head in the final section. The badge was worn on the players' shirts for just two seasons before they reverted to plain shirts.

By 1934, another badge had been introduced. This time it was a traditionally shaped shield, again with three sections. The buck in the park had been removed and the rose and the crown had been split up and now occupied a section each. The ram's head also remained and was now given the largest section of the shield. The badge never appeared on the players' shirts. The shield was modified in 1946 when the rose and crown were removed and replaced with the letters DC (Derby County) and FC (Football Club) respectively. The badge, right, was featured on to the player's shirts from its introduction onwards, though the ram's head on its own was used from the late 1960s (the full shield, however, remained the club's official logo).

A new club badge was introduced in 1971, featuring a more modern design that, with modifications, is still in use today. The badge was initially consisted of a stylised white ram facing left. The badge was first modified slightly in 1979 to include the text 'Derby County FC' under the ram (though the ram remained on its own on away kits). In 1982 the ram turned to face to the right and the text under it was removed. The ram was surrounded by a wreath of laurel and the text 'Centenary 1984-1985' was printed underneath for the club's centenary season. The laurel was removed and the text reading 'Derby County FC' returned from the next season. In 1993, the ram faced left again and the text was removed once more. From 1995, the ram faced right and was enclosed in a diamond, with a gold banner reading 'Derby County FC' underneath and the text '1884' (the year of the club's foundation) underneath that. The design was changed again in 1997 (see right): the ram faced now left and the golden banner now simply read 'Derby County'; the diamond and year of formation were removed. A decade later, in 2007, the badge was modified again (to the one seen at top of this article), with the ram (still facing left) and the text 'Est. 1884' now in the middle of a circular frame featuring 'Derby County Football Club' in gold lettering.

As an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, it was natural for Derby to set up home at the The Racecourse Ground. They moved to the The Baseball Ground in 1895 and spent 102 years at the ground, crammed between housing and a foundry. At it's 1969-1980 peak, the ground could hold over 40,000 spectators but, following the Taylor Report and the switch to all-seater stadia, the ground's capacity was reduced to just 18,300 by the 1990s- unsuitable for a then ambitious First Division side. Despite initially hoping to rebuild the Baseball Ground to hold 26,000 spectators, and rejecting the offer of two sites elsewhere in Derby, then -Chairman Lionel Pickering announced in February 1996 the intention to move to a new, purpose built stadium at the newly regenerated Pride Park, with the last ever first team game at the Baseball Ground being in May 1997, a 1-3 home defeat to Arsenal, though it continued to host reserve games until 2003. Derby's new ground, named Pride Park Stadium, was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 18 July, with a friendly against Sampdoria following on 4 August. Each of Derby's three grounds have hosted a full England International - England beating Ireland 9-0 at the County Ground in 1895, Ireland 2-1 at the Baseball Ground in 1911 and then Mexico 4-0 in May 2001.

Derby County's fiercest rivals are Nottingham Forest, who are based in Nottingham, a city a few miles north-east of Derby. When the two sides meet it is known as the East Midlands Derby and the winners are awarded the Brian Clough Trophy. In 2009, sheep heads were thrown through pub windows in Derby before a match with their local rivals.

There are also smaller, but significant, rivalries with Leicester City, also based in the East Midlands, and Leeds United who, despite not being as geographically near to Derby as Forest or Leicester, are disliked due to ongoing friction from the early 1970s when Derby and Leeds were two of the top English teams and the scarcely concealed hostility between their respective managers, Brian Clough and Don Revie. The rivalry is covered, to a degree, in the novel and film The Damned United.

Derby is often acknowledged as a 'passionate football town' by rival supporters and the press alike. For example, Tony Francis of The Daily Telegraph noted when discussing the East Midlands Derby "Derby is a passionate football town. Possibly more so than Nottingham... Even in Division Two, it's a reasonable bet that crowds at Pride Park would not fall far below 20,000. It's historical, it's geographical, it's in the blood. Some places have it, some don't."During the 2007-2008 Premiership season Derby County fans were repeatedly referred to as amongst the best in the country due to their loyalty despite the club's disastrous campaign. Almost every home game at Pride Park Stadium was sold out by the Derby fans and the club also had a great following away from home. The recognition included them being named fans of the season in much national coverage of the season and even winning an award from Nuts Magazine. A 2008 survey by Sky Sports Magazine named the club's supporters as 'the most loyal in the country.' Statistically, the club had the 12th highest average attendance in the country, despite only having the 15th largest club ground, and were also 8th in the table for percentage of ground occupancy.

The club also has some notable celebrity fans, such as former manager Brian Clough, former James Bond star Timothy Dalton, former Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett MP, Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon MP, double gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington, actor Tim Brooke-Taylor, actor Robert Lindsay (who wrote the club song "Steve Bloomer's Watching"), author Simon Singh, actor Christopher Biggins, actor Richard Beckinsale, former Blue Peter presenter Simon Groom and actress Tracy Shaw . After portraying Brian Clough in the film adaptation of The Damned United, actor Michael Sheen was also converted to being a Derby fan.

As part of the club's 125th Anniversary celebrations, it was announced that during 2009 each month a vote would be carried out to decide on the club's official All Time XI, starting in February 2009 with the goalkeeper, with the following eight months offering opportunities for Derby's support to select a team based within a 4-4-2 formation, with December's vote being reserved for the manager. Voting closed on the 25th of each month, with the winner being announced in the following few days.

Several ex-players/managers associated with Derby County are represented in the English Football Hall of Fame, which was created in 2002 as a celebration of those who have achieved at the very peak of the English game. To be considered for induction players/managers must be 30 years of age or older and have played/managed for at least five years in England.

The Football League 100 Legends is a list of "100 legendary football players" produced by The Football League in 1998, to celebrate the 100th season of League football. Eight former Derby players made the list.

Derby County's Player Of The Season award is voted for by the clubs supporters and named in honour of Jackie Stamps - who scored two goals in Derby's sole FA Cup final victory in 1946.

Below is a list of all the permanent managers that Derby County have had since the appointment of Harry Newbould in 1900. In the 16 years prior to Newbould's appointment, the team was selected by club committee, a standard practice by football clubs at the time. The club's current manager, Nigel Clough, is their 26th in all, and was appointed in January 2009, as a successor to Paul Jewell who resigned in December 2008. For a more detailed list, includingthe various caretaker managers the club has had, please check here.

The club is owned by an international investment group led by General Sports and Entertainment LLC.

Derby's mascot is a ram named Rammie. Rammie is a full time employee of the club who also works to maintain the clubs links with fans and the East Midlands in general, such as school visits to promote literacy and charity events. Rammie originally emerged as a more friendly option to the club's traditional links with the British Army.

Rammie was the first full-time mascot in football. Rammie's traditional activities include penalty shoot-outs with members of the crowd (from both the Home and Away ends) at half time, with Rammie as goalkeeper, and warming the crowd up before the match and encouraging them during it. Rammie is a very popular figure amongst Rams' fans and, in 2005, released his first DVD, which features the character reading from Aesop's Fables in the Derbyshire countryside.

Derby County's academy, called Moor Farm, is a purpose-built complex situated near the city suburb of Oakwood. It was built in 2003, at a cost of £5m , to replace the club's previous academy, The Ram-Arena, which was based at Raynesway. It covers 50 acres (200,000 m2) and features six full-sized training pitches plus an indoor pitch and includes a gym, restaurant, ProZone room and a laundry.

The academy is run by former Everton youth recruitment officer Phil Cannon, who took over from former manager Kevin Thelwell in April 2008 as part of new manager Paul Jewell's wholesale restructuring of the club. He is assisted by David Lowe and Mick Elliott.

When opening the academy then Chairman Lionel Pickering said that the intent was to have "at least eight players from the Academy... in the first-team within three years." Although this wasn't achieved, the current first team squad includes several players who have worked their way up through the ranks, namely highly rated England under-19 international Giles Barnes, Miles Addison and Welsh international defender Lewin Nyatanga. Others, such as Paris Simmons and Jason Beardsley have been involved with the first team squad, either on the bench or as substitutes.

Other notable players produced by the academy in recent years include England under-21 internationalists Tom Huddlestone (now of Tottenham Hotspur) and Lee Camp.

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Scotland national football team

Shirt badge/Association crest

The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872. Scotland maintains its own national side that competes in all major professional tournaments, with the exception of the Olympics as Scotland is not a member of the International Olympic Committee. The majority of Scotland's home matches are held at the national stadium, Hampden Park, with friendlies sometimes hosted at club stadiums.

Scotland have qualified for the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Football Championship several times, but have never progressed beyond the first stage of a tournament. The team have achieved some noteworthy results, however, such as beating the 1966 FIFA World Cup winners England 3–2 at Wembley Stadium in 1967. Archie Gemmill scored what has been described as one of the greatest World Cup goals ever in a 3–2 win during the 1978 World Cup against Holland, who reached the final of the tournament. In their qualifying group for UEFA Euro 2008, Scotland defeated 2006 World Cup runners-up France 1–0 in both fixtures.

Scotland's supporters are collectively known as the Tartan Army. Their traditional rivals are England, who they played annually from 1872 until 1989, but there have only been three senior level fixtures since then. The last match between the sides was the second leg of a Euro 2000 qualifying play-off at Wembley in 1999, which Scotland won 1–0, although England won the tie 2–1 on aggregate.

Scotland and England are the oldest national football teams in the world. The two countries contested the first ever international football match, at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Scotland on 30 November 1872. The match ended in a goalless draw. All eleven players who represented Scotland that day played for Glasgow amateur club Queen's Park. Over the next forty years, Scotland played matches exclusively against the other three Home nations—England, Wales and Ireland. The British Home Championship began in 1883, making these games competitive. The encounters against England were particularly fierce and a rivalry quickly developed.

A noteworthy victory for Scotland before the Second World War was the 5–1 victory over England in 1928, which led to that Scotland side being known as the Wembley Wizards. Scotland won the British Home Championship outright on 24 occasions, and shared the title 17 times with at least one other team. In 1929, Scotland played their first match outside the British Isles, beating Norway 7–3 in Bergen. Scotland continued to contest regular friendly matches against European opposition and enjoyed wins against Germany and France before losing to the Austrian Wunderteam and Italy in 1931.

The Home Nations did not enter the three World Cups before the Second World War because they were not members of FIFA. Prior to the 1950 FIFA World Cup, FIFA advised that places would be awarded to the top two teams in the 1950 British Home Championship. George Graham of the SFA announced, however, that Scotland would only attend the finals if Scotland won the competition. When the Scots finished runners-up to England, Graham stuck to his guns despite pleas from the Scotland players, supported by England captain Billy Wright and the England players. Instead Graham sent the Scots on a tour of North America.

The 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland was the first FIFA World Cup at which the Scotland national team competed. To quote the SFA website, "The preparation was atrocious". The SFA only sent 13 players to the finals, even though FIFA allowed 22 man squads. Despite this self-imposed hardship in terms of players, the SFA dignitaries travelled in numbers, accompanied with their wives. Scotland lost 1–0 against Austria in their first game in the finals. This prompted the team manager Andy Beattie to resign hours before the game against Uruguay. Uruguay were reigning champions and had never before lost a game at the World Cup finals. The gulf in class was exposed in horrific fashion as Uruguay won 7–0.

The 1958 FIFA World Cup finals saw Scotland draw their first game against Yugoslavia 1–1, but they then lost to Paraguay and France and went out at the first stage. March 1959 saw the re-appointment of Andy Beattie as manager until October 1960.

Under the management of Ian McColl, Scotland enjoyed consecutive British Home Championship successes in 1962 and 1963. Jock Stein, John Prentice and Malcolm MacDonald all had brief spells as manager before Bobby Brown was appointed in 1967. Brown's first match as manager was against the newly crowned world champions England at Wembley Stadium. Despite being underdogs, Scotland won 3–2 thanks to goals from Denis Law, Bobby Lennox and Jim McCalliog. Having defeated the world champions on their own turf, the Scotland fans hailed their team as the unofficial world champions.

After Tommy Docherty's brief spell as manager, Willie Ormond was hired in 1973. Ormond lost his first match in charge 5–0 to England, but recovered to steer Scotland to their first World Cup finals in 16 years in 1974. At the 1974 World Cup finals in West Germany, Scotland were unbeaten but failed to progress beyond the group stages on goal difference. After beating Zaire, they drew with both Brazil and Yugoslavia, and went out because they had beaten Zaire by the smallest margin.

Scotland appointed Ally MacLeod as manager in 1977 with qualification for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina far from assured. The team made a strong start under MacLeod by winning the 1977 British Home Championship, largely thanks to a 2–1 victory over England at Wembley Stadium. The Scotland fans invaded the pitch after the match, ripping up the turf and breaking a crossbar. Scotland's good form continued as they secured qualification for the World Cup with victories over Czechoslovakia and Wales.

During the build-up to the 1978 FIFA World Cup, MacLeod fuelled the hopes of the nation by stating that Scotland would come home with a medal. As the squad left for the finals in Argentina, they were given an enthusiastic send off as they were paraded around a packed Hampden Park. Thousands more fans lined the route to Prestwick Airport as the team set off for South America. Scotland's first game was against Peru in Cordoba. Two spectacular goals by Teófilo Cubillas meant that the result was a 3–1 loss. The second game was a very disappointing 1–1 draw against Iran. The disconsolate mood of the nation was reflected by footage of Ally MacLeod in the dugout with his head in his hands.

After taking a single point from their opening two games, Scotland had to defeat Holland by three clear goals to progress. Despite the Dutch taking the lead, Scotland fought back to win 3–2 with a goal from Kenny Dalglish and two from Archie Gemmill, the second of which is considered one of the greatest World Cup goals ever; Gemmill beat three Dutch defenders before lifting the ball over goalkeeper Jan Jongbloed into the net. The victory was not sufficient to secure a place in the second round, however, as Scotland were eliminated on goal difference for the second successive World Cup.

MacLeod resigned as manager shortly after the 1978 World Cup. Jock Stein, who had won nine consecutive Scottish league titles and the European Cup as manager of Celtic, appointed as his successor. After failing to qualify for the 1980 European Championship, Scotland qualified for the 1982 FIFA World Cup from a tough group including Sweden, Portugal, Israel and Northern Ireland, losing just one match in the process. They beat New Zealand 5–2 in their first game at the World Cup, but lost 4–1 to a Brazil team containing Socrates, Zico, Eder and Falcão. Scotland were eliminated on goal difference after a 2–2 draw with the Soviet Union.

Scotland qualified for their fourth successive World Cup in 1986 in traumatic circumstances. The squad went into their last qualification match against Wales needing a point to reach the tournament in Mexico. With only nine minutes remaining and Wales leading, Scotland were awarded a penalty kick which was calmly scored by Davie Cooper. However, as the players and fans celebrated, national coach Jock Stein suffered a heart attack and died shortly afterwards. Alex Ferguson was handed the role of manager for the World Cup, for which Scotland gained qualification by triumphing over Australia in a two-leg playoff, but Scotland were eliminated from the tournament with just one point from their three matches, a goalless draw with Uruguay.

Scotland qualified for their fifth consecutive World Cup in 1990 by finishing second in their qualifying group, ahead of France. Scotland were drawn in a group with Costa Rica, Sweden, and Brazil, but the Scots lost 1–0 to Costa Rica. While they recovered to beat Sweden 2–1 in their second game, they lost to Brazil in their third match 1–0 and were once again eliminated after the first round.

By a narrow margin, Scotland qualified for the UEFA European Football Championship for the first time in 1992. A 1–0 defeat to Romania away from home left qualification dependent upon other results, but a 1–1 draw between Bulgaria and Romania in the final group match saw Scotland squeeze through. Despite playing well in matches against the Netherlands and Germany and a fine win against the CIS, the team was knocked out at the group stage. Scotland failed to qualify, however, for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The team finished fourth in their qualifying group behind Italy, Switzerland and Portugal. When it became clear that Scotland could not qualify, Andy Roxburgh resigned from his position as team manager.

New manager Craig Brown successfully guided Scotland to the 1996 European Championship tournament. The first game against the Netherlands ended 0–0, raising morale ahead of a much anticipated game against England at Wembley Stadium. Gary McAllister missed a penalty kick and a goal by Paul Gascoigne led to a 2–0 defeat. Scotland recovered to beat Switzerland 1–0. The score in the other match meant Scotland were briefly in a position to qualify, but a late goal for Holland meant that the team were once again knocked out on goal difference.

Brown again guided Scotland to qualification for a major tournament in 1998, and Scotland were drawn against Brazil in the opening game of the 1998 World Cup. John Collins equalised from the penalty spot to level the score at 1–1, but a Tom Boyd own goal led to a 2–1 defeat. Scotland drew their next game 1–1 with Norway in Bordeaux, but the final match against Morocco ended in an embarrassing 3–0 defeat.

During the qualification for the 2000 European Championship, Scotland faced England in a two-legged playoff nicknamed the "Battle of Britain" by the media. Scotland won the second match 1–0, but lost the tie 2–1 on aggregate. Scotland failed to qualify for the finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, finishing third in their qualifying group behind Croatia and Belgium. This second successive failure to qualify prompted Brown to resign from his position after the final qualifying match.

The Scottish Football Association appointed former Germany manager Berti Vogts as manager in 2002. Scotland performed badly under Vogts and suffered a series of heavy defeats, including 6–0 to Holland, 5–0 to France, 4–0 to Wales, 4–1 to South Korea and 3–0 to Hungary, which caused the team to drop to a record low in the FIFA World Rankings. Vogts announced his resignation in 2004, blaming the hostile media for his departure.

Former Rangers and Everton manager, Walter Smith was brought in as manager in the wake of Vogts' departure. Smith secured victories against Bulgaria, Norway, the Faroe Islands and most notably against France in a far more productive period, with Scotland rising up the FIFA Rankings. The Scottish players also lifted their first trophy in years after winning the Kirin Cup in Japan. Scotland failed to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany with a 3–4–3 win–draw–loss record, finishing third in their group behind Italy and Norway.

Smith left the national side in early 2007 to return to club football, with Scotland leading their Euro 2008 qualification group largely thanks to a 1–0 win against France at Hampden. Alex McLeish was named as Smith's successor and Scotland's twentieth manager. McLeish's first match in charge was a 2008 European Championship qualifying match against Georgia which was won 2–1 by Scotland, making McLeish only the third Scotland manager to win his first match in charge. McLeish then guided Scotland to wins against the Faroe Islands, Lithuania, France and Ukraine before defeats to Georgia and Italy ended their chances of qualification. These overall improved results, particularly the wins against France, lifted Scotland into the top 20 in the FIFA rankings for the first time since their conception in the mid 1990s. Scotland's best ranking was 13th in October 2007.

After the narrow failure to qualify for Euro 2008, Alex McLeish resigned the managerial position to join Birmingham City a few days after the draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup was made. Scotland's improved results in the last two campaigns meant the team were seeded second for 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying, and they were drawn with the Netherlands, Norway, Macedonia and Iceland. Southampton manager George Burley was hired as the new manager, but the team failed to win three preparatory friendlies against Croatia, Czech Republic and Northern Ireland. Burley came in for criticism from the media after the team lost their first qualifier against Macedonia, but they recovered to win 2–1 in Iceland. The next match was a goalless draw at home against Norway, during which debutant Chris Iwelumo missed an open goal from three yards.

Scotland lost their fourth match 3–0 away to the Netherlands. captain Barry Ferguson and goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who had both played in that match, were dropped for the following match against Iceland due to a "breach of discipline". George Burley made five changes in all for the match, which ended in a 2–1 win for Scotland, with Ross McCormack and Steven Fletcher both scoring on their competitive home debuts.

Scotland have played at eight World Cup Finals, including five consecutive tournaments from 1974 to 1990. During the preparations for the 1928 Olympic Football Tournament, FIFA ruled that all its member associations must provide "broken-time" payments to cover the expenses of players from their country who participated. In response to what they considered to be unacceptable interference, the football associations of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales held a meeting at which they agreed to resign from FIFA. As a result, Scotland did not compete in the three interwar World Cup competitions. The Scottish Football Association did not rejoin FIFA as a permanent member until 1946.

Scotland have never advanced beyond the first round of the finals competition. They have missed out on progressing to the second round three times on goal difference: in 1974, when Brazil edged them out; in 1978, when the Netherlands progressed; and in 1982, when the USSR went through. Although Scotland have played at eight finals tournaments, they have actually qualified on nine occasions. The Scottish Football Association declined to participate in 1950 as Scotland were not the British champions.

Scotland have qualified for two European Championships but have failed to advance beyond the first round on both occasions, most recently at the 1996 European Championship, where the Netherlands progressed on goals scored.

Hampden Park in Glasgow is the traditional home of the Scotland team and is described by the Scottish Football Association as the National Stadium. The present stadium, which has a 52,000 capacity, is one of several stadiums to have used the name. Hampden and its predecessors have hosted international matches since 1878. The attendance record of 149,415 was set by the Scotland v England match in 1937. Hampden is one of only two Scottish football stadiums to receive a UEFA 5–star rating.

Some friendly matches are played at smaller venues, such as when Scotland played South Africa at Pittodrie Stadium in Aberdeen during August 2007. Easter Road Stadium in Edinburgh has hosted four friendly matches since 1998. Other stadiums were also used while Hampden was being redeveloped during the late 1990s. Celtic Park, Pittodrie, Ibrox Stadium and Rugby Park all hosted matches during the 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign, while Tynecastle Stadium, Pittodrie, Celtic Park and Ibrox were used for Euro 2000 qualifying matches.

Since the last redevelopment to Hampden was completed in 1999, Scotland have played all but one of their competitive matches there. The exception to this rule was when Celtic Park hosted the first Euro 2008 qualification match against the Faroe Islands. Celtic Park was used because the fixtures were decided by a random draw and Hampden had already been booked for a Robbie Williams concert on the same date.

Scotland's home matches are presently covered by the pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports. Extended highlights of every Scotland home international are shown on terrestrial television by BBC Sport Scotland. Television rights to away games vary, although the rights to all of Scotland's away matches in qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup are held by Setanta Sports, another pay-TV broadcaster. This has come in for criticism from the Scottish Government, who have argued that Scotland's competitive games should be included in the list of events which can only be broadcast on free-to-air television.

BBC Sport Scotland, STV, Sky Sports, and Five are among other networks that have previously shown live fixtures. All matches are broadcast with full commentary on BBC Radio Scotland and, when schedules allow, BBC Radio 5 Live also.

In Australia, Scotland's national football team home games and selected away games are broadcast by Setanta Sports Australia.

Scotland traditionally wear dark blue shirts with white shorts and dark blue socks, the colours of the Queens Park team who represented Scotland in the first international. The shirt is embroidered with a crest based upon the lion rampant of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The current change kit is all white with a pastel blue saltire across the chest. Another style often used by Scotland comprises blue shirts, white shorts and red socks. Change colours vary, but are most commonly white or yellow shirts with blue shorts. From 1994–96 a tartan kit was used. The current version of the crest includes the Scottish flag and a background of thistles, representing the national flower of Scotland, in addition to the lion rampant.

Scotland have not always played in dark blue; on a number of occasions between 1881 and 1951 they played in the primrose and pink racing colours of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery. A former Prime Minister, Lord Rosebery was an influential figure in Scottish football, serving as honorary President of the Scottish Football Association and Edinburgh team Hearts. His colours were used most frequently in the first decade of the twentieth century, but were discontinued in 1909. The colours were briefly reprised in 1949, and were last used against France in 1951. In 1900, when Scotland defeated England 4–1. Lord Rosebery remarked, "I have never seen my colours so well sported since Ladas won the Derby".

Since 2005, the SFA have supported the use of Scots Gaelic on the national team's strip in recognition of the language's revival in Scotland.

Scotland fans are collectively known as the Tartan Army. During the 1970s, Scotland fans became notorious for their hooliganism, particularly after they invaded the Wembley pitch and destroyed the goalposts after the England v Scotland match in 1977. Since then, the Tartan Army have won awards from UEFA for their combination of vocal support, friendly nature and charity work. The Tartan Army have been awarded a Fair Play prize by the Belgian Olympic Committee and were named as the best supporters during the 1992 European Championship. The fans were also presented with a trophy for non-violence in sport and were voted by journalists to be the best supporters for their sense of fair play and sporting spirit at the 1998 World Cup in France.

The following players were selected for the squad to play Netherlands on 28 March 2009 and Iceland on 1 April 2009.

The following players are not in the current squad, but have been selected to play for Scotland since 3 April 2008.

The Scottish Football Association operates a roll of honour for every player who has made more than 50 appearances for Scotland. As of 2008, there are 25 members of this roll, with David Weir the most recent addition to the list. The qualifying mark of 50 appearances means that many notable Scotland players including Jim Baxter, Hughie Gallacher, John Greig, Jimmy Johnstone, Billy McNeill, Bobby Murdoch and Lawrie Reilly are not on the roll of honour.

The Scottish Football Museum operates a hall of fame which is open to players and managers involved in Scottish football. This means that membership is not restricted to people who have played for Scotland; inductees include Brian Laudrup and Henrik Larsson. At the most recent induction ceremony, John Thomson, Bill Struth, Billy Liddell, Jim Leighton, Derek Johnstone, Bobby Evans, Archie Gemmill and Ian St. John were added to its membership. Sportscotland operates the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame, which has inducted some footballers.

From 1872 to 1954 and 1954 to 1958 the Scotland national team was appointed by a selection committee. Andy Beattie was manager for six matches in 1954 when Scotland competed at their first World Cup. After the tournament the selection committee resumed their duties, continuing until the appointment of Matt Busby in 1958.

Statistically the most successful manager was Alex McLeish, who won seven of the ten games he took charge of. Discounting managers who have managed less than ten games, the least successful manager was Berti Vogts, who only won eight out of 31 games. As of March 2009, the current manager is George Burley, who was appointed on 23 January 2008 after leaving English Championship club Southampton.

Last updated: Scotland 2–1 Iceland, 1 April 2009. Statistics include official FIFA-recognised matches only.

Kenny Dalglish holds the record for Scotland appearances, having played 102 times between 1971 and 1986. He is the only Scotland player to have reached 100 caps. Jim Leighton is second, having played 91 times, a record for appearances by a goalkeeper. Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish played for Scotland 77 times and is the third most capped player.

The title of Scotland's highest goalscorer is shared by two players. Denis Law scored 30 goals between 1958 and 1974, during which time he played for Scotland on 55 occasions. Kenny Dalglish scored an equal number from 102 appearances. Hughie Gallacher as well as being the third highest scorer is also the most prolific with his 23 goals coming from only 20 games (averaging 1.15 goals per game). Other notable strikers include, Lawrie Reilly, Ally McCoist, Mo Johnston and Joe Jordan.

The largest margin of victory achieved by a Scotland side is 11–0 against Ireland in the 1901 British Home Championship. The record defeat occurred during the 1954 FIFA World Cup, a 7–0 deficit against reigning world champions Uruguay.

Scotland's 1937 British Home Championship match against England set a new world record for a football attendance. The Hampden Park crowd was officially recorded as 149,415, though the true figure is unknown as a large number of additional fans gained unauthorised entry. This attendance was surpassed 13 years later by the 1950 World Cup final, but remains a European record.

Scotland has always participated by itself in most of the major tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship. At the Olympic Games, however, the rules only permit a United Kingdom team to compete. London's successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, prompted suggestions that a combined UK team be created for the tournament. However, the Scottish Football Association has stated that it will not participate in such a team as doing so would threaten the independent status of the Scottish side. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has stated that a UK team would not threaten the continued existence of the Scotland team, but the SFA has expressed concern that a future President could take a different view.

Despite the opposition of the Scottish FA, the Welsh FA and the Northern Irish FA, the formation of a squad comprising players only from England remains a possibility. Indeed, Blatter has encouraged this possibility. In response, groups representing the supporters of all four national teams have stated their opposition to a UK team and have issued a joint statement.

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Premier League Manager of the Year

In the Premier League, the FA Premier League Manager of the Year Award is annual award given to a manager who is recognised for their overall contribution to the achievements of a specific team. The award has been given out since the sponsorship of the Carling Premier League in 1993. There has only been one occasion on which the award was not given to the manager who won the Premier League title - George Burley of Ipswich Town in the 2000-01 season. Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United F.C., has won the award more times than all the other winning managers combined.

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Chris Swailes

Christopher William Swailes (born October 19, 1970, Gateshead, County Durham) is a footballer, currently playing for Hamilton Academical. He previously played for Ipswich Town under the current Scotland manager, George Burley.

Swailes was a trainee at Ipswich Town from 1989 to 1991, eventually moving to Peterborough United on March 28, 1991 for a fee of £10,000, after turning down a contract offered by the Ipswich manager at the time, John Lyall. Five months later, he moved on to Boston United of the Alliance Premier League on a free transfer, after feeling homesick for the North East. He played only part-time for them, going out on loan to Kettering and Third Division Birmingham City for a while, before signing for Bridlington Town, again for free. After a short spell on loan to Guisborough Town, he followed the Bridlington chairman Ken Richardson to Doncaster Rovers, then in the Third Division, for no fee (once again).

In 54 appearances for Doncaster over the next 17 months, he scored one League Cup goal in a first round, second leg, away fixture at Wrexham on August 23, 1994.

However, in March 1995, the new Ipswich Town manager George Burley paid £150,000 for Swailes to return to his former club. Unfortunately, in his first Premier League game for them at home to Aston Villa on April 1, 1995, he scored an own goal in stoppage time at the end of the match, to confirm a 1–0 defeat. Ipswich were relegated to the First Division at the end of that season.

Over the next two-and-a-half years, he made just 47 appearances in League, Cup and other games for them, scoring only once. The bulk of his contribution came in the 1996–97 season, when he was given an extended run. Ipswich finished in fourth spot and entered the First Division playoffs, but lost on the away goals rule after extra time in the semi-final second leg at home to Sheffield United, Swailes being replaced by Kieron Dyer in the 91st minute.

On November 13, 1997, Stan Ternent, the manager of Bury, also in the First Division at that time, paid a club record fee of £200,000 for Swailes (which still stands). He was included in the Shakers’ team for their away match at Oxford United two days later, and promptly scored an equalising goal for them in a 1–1 draw. Although Swailes subsequently found it hard to maintain a run of appearances in the first team under Ternent, his fortunes looked up a little after Neil Warnock took over as manager in 1998, and he missed only three games through suspension during the 1998–99 season. Despite this, Bury were relegated at the end of that term. Swailes was quoted as saying: "robably Stan cracked the whip more than Neil did which in the end may have been the difference of gaining the extra couple of points we needed, but as professionals we must all share the blame". He was subsequently voted Player of the Year by the Bury Supporters' Association at their prize night in May 1999. "It really is a big surprise for me to get the award," he commented. "I thought I might make the top five at best. But it's a dream come true to be the fans' choice. They are the most important people at the club, they keep it alive and for them to vote for me is marvellous, but I suppose my goal against Bolton helped!

Whilst with Bury, Swailes lived in Ramsbottom with his wife Louise and their recent addition to the family, a daughter. However, the good fortune which had blessed him around that period was about to disappear.

During the following season, in a match at home to Millwall on January 4, 2000 (his last game before a three-match ban was due to commence for getting sent off at Burnley on Boxing Day 1999), Swailes suffered a double hernia, but played on to the end of the match, and ended up in hospital. He was not fit enough to play for the reserves until mid-April, and did not taste first team football again until completing ninety minutes in the home Second Division fixture against Blackpool on April 22, 2000, which they won 3–2.

By this time, Andy Preece had taken over as player/manager at Gigg Lane, and things were never the same for Swailes after this period. In all, he made 148 appearances for them, scoring on 11 occasions.

Although he was offered a new one, in June 2001 Chris Swailes' contract with Bury expired, and he was then able to move on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling. In reaction to an enquiry towards the end of May that year from Ronnie Moore of Rotherham United, Bury had asked for a £100,000 fee – however, they refused to pay this. On June 19, 2001, Swailes signed a contract with newly-promoted Rotherham, and looked forward to a new season playing in the Football League First Division.

Throughout season 2001–02, Swailes was an ever-present, making 44 League appearances and scoring 6 League goals. However, the club exited both the FA Cup and the League Cup early, and avoided relegation only by having a better goal difference than Crewe, who went down occupying the third-from-bottom position in the First Division.

Regarding the sending-off, Moore would only say: "If he could have scored from there, I'm a Dutchman".

Swailes and Rotherham finished the season just below mid-table. Much the same happened in the following season, although they were involved in a "sensational shoot-out" following a 1–1 draw, after extra time, at Arsenal in the League Cup third round on October 28, 2003. Arsenal won the penalty competition 9–8, after Swailes had missed his "sudden death" spot-kick, leaving Sylvain Wiltord to claim victory by converting his.

However, in 2004–05, despite Swailes playing 37 League games and scoring two goals, Rotherham were relegated from the newly-named Football League Championship, winning only 5 matches and finishing bottom. Moore resigned as manager in January 2005, and took up the challenge of leading League One Oldham Athletic in March that year. This was to be a significant occurrence regarding the future of Chris Swailes.

Swailes followed his Rotherham teammates Paul Warne and Rob Scott to Boundary Park in July 2005 on a free transfer, signing a two-year contract for Ronnie Moore. However, he was immediately injured in training, suffering a damaged heel. He would not make his debut for Oldham until the 0–0 home draw against Southend United on January 7, 2006, coming on as a substitute in the 51st minute. He then aggravated the problem in a training session before the game at Blackpool on January 10, 2006.

He struggled on, "taking pills just to get through games", and played in only 15 matches that season, between his debut and April 15, 2006, when he had to be substituted in the 51st minute in a 3–0 loss at home to Barnsley. However, despite surgery in the summer, which enabled him to play four times at the beginning of the 2006–07 season, Swailes had to undergo a further operation, about which he said: "I am again in a lot of pain and it has just got worse. I had a feeling I might need more surgery and I just have to hope for the best".

Following the sacking of manager Moore and the club's appointment of John Sheridan to replace him, the new man "decided to pay up the remainder of the player's contract", and Swailes was released.

In July 2007, he signed a further one-year deal, as a part-time player, allowing him to travel up for games from his base in the North East of England.

Since then, he has been an integral part of the team, making regular appearances in defence, scoring the second goal in a 2–0 win at Partick Thistle in November 2007, but getting sent off in a Scottish Cup tie away to Brechin in January 2008.

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Kris Boyd

Kris Boyd (born 18 August 1983 in Irvine, Ayrshire) is a Scottish professional footballer currently playing for Scottish Premier League side Rangers. He plays as a centre forward.

Starting his career with Kilmarnock, Boyd transferred to Rangers in 2006. He is presently the second highest goalscorer in the history of the SPL, with 137 goals.

Between 2006 and 2008 Boyd represented the Scottish national team, but on 11 October 2008 stated that he would no longer be considered for selection while George Burley was in charge.

Boyd was raised in the village of Tarbolton, near Ayr, and was a Rangers fan while growing up.

Boyd signed for Kilmarnock on 25 August 1999 and made his debut for the club as a substitution on the last day of the 2000-01 season against Celtic. The following season, with the departures of Ally McCoist (who finished his career the day of Boyd's debut) and Christophe Cocard, he was given his chance to stake a place in the team, ending the season with a tally of five goals.

During 2002-03 season, he scored 12 times and won the Kilmarnock Young Player of the Year award. In 2003-04 he scored a total of fifteen goals in the season. In September 2004 he almost set an SPL record when he scored five of Kilmarnock's goals against Dundee United. He also had a sixth goal disallowed. He scored 19 goals in all competitions in the 2004–05 season.

Boyd's form during the 2005-06 attracted interest from English Championship sides Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday; however, despite £500,000 offers from both clubs, Boyd rejected the moves.

On 22 December 2005 it was announced that Boyd would sign for Rangers in the January transfer window. He officially joined Rangers on 1 January 2006. He waived half of his £40,000 signing on fee, which Kilmarnock were due to pay him under the terms of his contract, to help fund the youth set up at Kilmarnock.

He made his debut on 7 January 2006 against Peterhead in the Scottish Cup third round, in which he scored a hat-trick during a 5–0 win. He went on to score 20 goals in 17 starts for Rangers in the second half of that season, ending it with a total of 37 goals for Rangers and Kilmarnock. He became the first player to finish top scorer at two clubs in one season, having scored 17 goals for Kilmarnock before his move. He also finished second top scorer in Europe and signed a one year extension to his contract.

Having been suspended for the first match of the 2006–07 season, he was left out of the starting eleven by the then new manager Paul Le Guen for the following two games, where Rangers drew 2–2 with Dundee United and 1–1 with Dunfermline. He started the next game on 19 August against Hearts and scored both goals in a 2–0 win. His form continued against former club Kilmarnock the following week, scoring two goals in a 2–2 draw. He also scored a 30 yard volley against Dunfermline in the League Cup after keeper Allan McGregor picked him out with the ball from some 85 yards.

After scoring a penalty against Motherwell in January 2007, Boyd was involved in controversy when he held up six fingers, reportedly in a show of solidarity for former club captain Barry Ferguson, who had been stripped of his position and dropped from the team following a dispute with Paul Le Guen. Ferguson wore the number six shirt. Le Guen left the club days later and was replaced by the then Scotland manager Walter Smith. Boyd scored a double in Smith's first game back at Ibrox against Dundee United, and a month later scored a hat-trick against former club Kilmarnock in a 3–1 win in February 2007. On 17 March 2007, he scored his second hat-trick of the season against Aberdeen in a 3–0 win at Ibrox.

Boyd scored his 100th Scottish Premier League goal, and his first against Celtic on 5 May 2006, the first in a 2–0 victory for Rangers.

His 50th and 51st goals in all competitions for Rangers came in a League Cup match against East Fife on 26 September 2007, 627 days after his debut. This made him the second fastest Rangers player ever to reach 50 goals for the club, behind Jim Forrest. Boyd scored his fifth hat-trick for Rangers during a 6–0 Scottish Cup win against East Stirling.

He won the first trophy of his career on 16 March 2008 when Rangers defeated Dundee United to win the 2008 Scottish League Cup Final. Boyd scored both of Rangers' goals in the 2–2 draw and scored the winning penalty in the subsequent penalty shootout. He also scored a double in the 2008 Scottish Cup Final, a 3–2 win over Queen of the South.

The 2008-09 season began with Boyd being the centre of a failed transfer bid by English Championship side Cardiff City. His first goal of the season came during a league match against Hearts, netting a 92nd minute penalty. On 1 November, Boyd scored his sixth Rangers hat-trick in front of a home crowd against Inverness CT in a 5-0 win. The hat-trick came within 14 minutes, with the last being a penalty. Boyd was credited by the referee with a goal against Hearts during Rangers 2-1 defeat on 29 November; however, the media, Scottish Premier League and the club recorded the goal as a Christos Karipidis own goal. Three days later, Boyd bagged his second hat-trick of the season (his seventh in total for Rangers) during a 7-1 win against Hamilton Academical. On 6 January 2009, Rangers announced that an enquiry had been made by Birmingham City for Boyd, although the deal hit a snag over Boyd's wage demands, and Boyd elected to stay at Rangers.

Boyd was a regular in the Scotland under-21 team, winning eight caps and scoring once.

On 11 May 2006 he made his debut for the Scotland national team and scored twice in a 5–1 win over Bulgaria in the Kirin Cup. Boyd extended his fine international form into European Championship qualifying, scoring twice against the Faroe Islands in a 6–0 win and also against Georgia in a 2–1 win, his fifth goal in six games.

On 11 October 2008 Boyd stated that he would not play international football again under manager George Burley. His decision came after Burley had left Boyd on the substitute bench in a 0–0 World Cup qualifying match against Norway, opting to bring debutant Chris Iwelumo on instead. When asked about the decision, Burley stated "Kris has got to establish himself in the Rangers team, which he hasn't done." After hearing those comments, Boyd contacted Burley to inform him of his decision, and confirmed his decision to Gordon Smith, the chief executive of the Scottish Football Association. At a press conference on 13 October 2008, Burley hinted that the door might not be closed should Boyd reconsider, stating that Boyd, rather than he, had "made the decision", and that "..if (Boyd) is totally committed, that's what the country needs." It was reported on 1 January 2009 that Burley would welcome Boyd back into the Scotland setup if he was willing to return.

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Vladimir Romanov's ownership of Heart of Midlothian F.C.

Tynecastle Stadium, which Hearts proposed to sell before Vladimir Romanov took control.

Vladimir Romanov, a Russian born Lithuanian businessman, initially acquired 19.6% stake at Heart of Midlothian F.C. back in 2004–2005. After Romanov made financial guarantees his stake increased additionally by 29.9%. Romanov's takeover was welcomed by a fans representatives. Romanov eventually increased his majority share in Hearts to 82%.

Hearts, like many other Scottish Premier League clubs, ran into severe financial difficulties during the early part of the 2000s. An assessment by PWC in the autumn of 2003 found that Hearts, along with four other SPL clubs, were technically insolvent. Dundee and Livingston subsequently went into administration, while Hibs and Dunfermline both took drastic measures to balance their finances, cutting their player budgets severely and selling assets. Hearts also cut their player budget and, more significantly, proposed to sell Tynecastle to eradicate the club's debt. The fans protested against the latter course of action, forming a group called Save Our Hearts.

Hearts made a deal with the Scottish Rugby Union to use Murrayfield Stadium in order that they could sell Tynecastle. Originally this was meant to happen during the summer of 2004, but was then delayed for a season. During this period, Hearts were a public limited company. Ownership of the club was very fractured, with no individual shareholder owning more than 20% of the club. This meant that minority shareholders, including supporters' groups and the McGrail brothers, could realistically hope to acquire other minority stakes in order to block the proposals to sell Tynecastle. In August 2004, Hearts made a deal to sell Tynecastle to Cala Homes (a housing developer), but the deal had an escape clause which meant that Hearts could withdraw from the deal before 31 January 2005 if a viable alternative could be found.

Vladimir Romanov had shown interest in investing in Scottish football for some time because he wanted to see whether Lithuanian footballers could prosper abroad. Scottish football clubs were particularly ripe for takeover due to their weak finances and corporate structures. He made approaches to Dundee United, Dundee and Dunfermline, but these were all rejected. He opened negotiations with the board of directors to invest in Hearts during August 2004. Romanov offered the prospect of the club staying at a redeveloped Tynecastle, which was very attractive to Hearts supporters. Board chairman George Foulkes pleaded that the shareholders should not scare Romanov away by demanding too much for their shares.

Chief executive Chris Robinson, who had been the chief proponent of the necessity of selling Tynecastle, agreed at the end of September 2004 to sell his 19.6% stake to Romanov. Romanov called an extraordinary general meeting in January 2005 so that the club could pass a motion to exercise the escape clause in the deal with Cala Homes. The backing of Leslie Deans and the McGrail brothers meant that the motion was passed with over 70% support. The sale of Robinson's shares was completed on 2 February 2005 after Romanov made financial guarantees that the club could continue to trade without selling Tynecastle. This sale increased Romanov's stake to 29.9%, giving him effective control of the club. Romanov's takeover was welcomed by a fans representative.

Chris Robinson resigned as Hearts chief executive after selling his shares to Romanov. To replace him, Romanov hired Phil Anderton, who had just resigned from a similar position with the Scottish Rugby Union. Anderton appointed George Burley as Hearts manager during the 2005 close season. During this period, Romanov started the practice of signing players through FBK Kaunas, including Edgaras Jankauskas and Roman Bednář. The club signed other high-profile players such as Takis Fyssas and Rudi Skácel.

With their new manager and signings, Hearts got off to a tremendous start in the 2005–06 season. The team won their first eight league matches, equaling a club record set in 1914. Romanov increased his shareholding in Hearts to 55.5% on 21 October 2005, and offered to buy the rest of the shares. Chairman George Foulkes sold his shares to Romanov and encouraged others to do likewise. Romanov eventually increased his majority share in Hearts to 82%.

In a move that shocked Scottish football, Romanov sacked George Burley on the following day. Hearts fans were led to expect a "top class manager" would replace Burley. Kevin Keegan, Bobby Robson, Claudio Ranieri and Ottmar Hitzfeld were all linked with the vacancy. Anderton, who had been making the approaches for these coaches, was sacked by Romanov on 31 October 2005. Foulkes, who had helped to bring Romanov to the club in the first place, resigned in protest at Anderton's dismissal. Romanov replaced both of them with his son, Roman Romanov.

Romanov appointed Graham Rix as Hearts head coach on 8 November 2005 to replace George Burley. This appointment was not well received by the fans because Rix was a convicted sex offender who had not coached at a high level since a brief, unsuccessful spell at Portsmouth in 2002. Hearts' results deteriorated under Rix. It became apparent during February 2006 that Romanov was interfering in team selection. He agreed to meet a delegation of players to hear their grievances.

As a result of these grievances, Andy Webster refused to extend his contract with the club, for which he was dropped from the team. Romanov suspected Webster of wanting to move to Rangers. In the summer of 2006, Webster exercised his right under new legislation to buy out the remainder of his contract. He signed for Premier League club Wigan, before being loaned and eventually sold to Rangers.

Rix was sacked by Romanov on 22 March 2006, who replaced him with former FBK Kaunas coach Valdas Ivanauskas. Despite the upheaval of two managerial changes, Hearts managed to finish second in the league, which meant that the club qualified for the qualifying rounds of the Champions League. It also marked the first time a club outside the Old Firm had finished in the top two positions since the 1994–95 season. Hearts also won the Scottish Cup by beating Gretna on penalties in the final. Following these achievements, Ivanauskas was appointed as head coach on a permanent basis in the summer of 2006.

Following a 2–0 home defeat by Kilmarnock in October 2006, Valdas Ivanauskas went on a leave of absence due to unspecified health reasons, and was replaced by Eduard Malofeyev on a caretaker basis. Romanov declared that he would put all his players up for sale to "whatever club would take them" if they did not win their next game, against Dunfermline.

Captain Steven Pressley, flanked by fellow Scotland internationals Craig Gordon and Paul Hartley, announced to the media that there was "significant unrest" as a result of this continued upheaval. The Hearts fans showed that they backed the players in their dispute during the game against Dunfermline, which ended in a 1–1 draw. Pressley was then dropped from the team and was then given a free transfer. He signed for Celtic, where he was soon joined by Hartley. Gordon was sold to Sunderland in August 2007.

After a disastrous run of results during the 2007–08 season, Hearts issued a statement on 1 January 2008 that said they would look to appoint a "British-style" manager in the near future. Romanov placed Stevie Frail in charge for the rest of the season, but Hearts disappointingly finished eighth in the league. Immediately after the end of the season, Hearts approached Motherwell for permission to speak to Mark McGhee with the intention of appointing him as their new manager. McGhee appeared to be on the verge of accepting Romanov's offer, but he eventually decided to stay at Motherwell. Hearts subsequently made approaches to Jürgen Röber and Vladimír Weiss, who both also turned down the job. George Foulkes commented that Romanov was "reaping what he had sown". Foulkes believes that Romanov has made the Hearts job unattractive to managers due to his record of interfering in team matters. Nonetheless, a head coach was eventually hired on July 11 when Hungarian coach Csaba László was appointed to the position.

Romanov's management of Hearts' finances have become a source of concern. Before he completed his takeover of the club, Romanov had pledged to eradicate the club's debt. Soon after the takeover was completed, the debt was transferred from HBOS and SMG to the financial institutions controlled by Romanov, Ūkio bankas and UBIG. Romanov permitted Hearts to greatly increase their spending on players, which explains why the club have signed experienced internationals like Takis Fyssas, Edgaras Jankauskas and Laryea Kingston.

Hearts' income has also grown during the last few years, but not by as much as their expenditure. The club was over £36M in debt at 31 July 2007, although Craig Gordon was sold for an initial fee of £7M days after that financial report was prepared. This, however, does not allow for the likelihood of further trading losses since the last accounting date.

Despite these losses and the consequent increase in debt, Romanov has pledged to construct a £51M new main stand at Tynecastle, which would increase its capacity to 23,000. Pedro Lopez, Hearts deputy chief executive, said that the proposals show Romanov's long term commitment to the club and that the increased capacity and revenue potential would allow them to reduce the debt in the long run. On 7 July 2008, Hearts issued a statement that stated the club would issue debt for equity in order to reduce the debt by £12M.

Despite this apparent investment, financial problems have continued to affect Hearts during the 2008–09 season. Player wages were paid late on two occasions, and win bonuses from the team's good run of form during November 2008 remain outstanding. This has led to speculation that Hearts will sell some of their key players, including Laryea Kingston, Christophe Berra and Andrew Driver, when the transfer window opens on 1 January 2009.

Romanov has been widely noted for causing controversies in football in Scotland. The first such controversy arose during the 2004-05 season when referee Hugh Dallas awarded a decisive penalty kick to Rangers in a Scottish Premier League match against Hearts. After the game, Hearts asked the SFA to investigate the "integrity of the decision".

Hearts were fined £10,000 by the SFA in October 2006 for bringing the game into disrepute. Romanov had said that "Last season, you didn't manage to protect the Scottish Cup and gave it to Hearts, despite all the referees' efforts and intrigues".

During February 2007 it was reported that Romanov had accused the Old Firm clubs of "buying off" match officials and opposing players in the Scottish Premier League. The chairman of Celtic and the chief executive of Rangers both said they would seek legal advice if the comments were confirmed. Romanov then insisted that he had been misquoted.

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Source : Wikipedia