Jefferies axe no surprise - Burley

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Former Hearts boss George Burley was not surprised to hear that Jim Jefferies had been relieved of his managerial duties at Tynecastle on Monday

At the end of a chaotic day in Gorgie, a club spokesman confirmed: "Jim Jefferies has been removed as manager, and has been offered a director of football role which he is currently considering."

Burley, who was in charge at Tynecastle for only 10 SPL games in 2005 before he left due to "irreconcilable differences" with the board, told said: "Nothing surprises me in football. There are a lot of strange things which happen in football, unfortunately, and it has happened to a number of good managers."

He added: "It is a shame for Jim and Billy, I know them well. I don't know what happened but Jim is a well-respected manager. But it doesn't just happen at Hearts, it happens all over these days."

It is believed that the positions of assistant Billy Brown and first-team coach Gary Locke are under review. There are also reports that majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov has moved to bring in Paulo Sergio, with the former Sporting Lisbon coach set to be named as the new Hearts boss on Tuesday morning.

Press Association Sport understands that the Jambos' players, with one eye on Thursday's crucial Europa League second-leg game against Hungarian side Paks at Tynecastle, were unhappy when told of the news by Romanov at a meeting at the stadium on Monday..

Romanov was at Tynecastle on Sunday to see Hearts lose 1-0 to Dundee United in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League. The Jambos are without a win since the 3-2 defeat of St Mirren on March 19, a run of form which is reported to have influenced Romanov's decision.

However, Hearts started the season with a 1-1 draw against Rangers at Ibrox in the SPL and followed it up with a 1-1 draw against Paks in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier in Hungary.

Former Hearts chairman George Foulkes, who left his post less than two weeks after Burley's departure in protest at the Tynecastle club's decision to part company with chief executive Phil Anderton, was disappointed by the announcement.

"I am shocked at the decision and the timing of it," Foulkes said. "But I have come to expect the unexpected with Vladimir Romanov. If he comes up with a replacement who is generally accepted to be brilliant, then I'm sure the Hearts fans will rejoice but the record of past managers doesn't give much hope.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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