After initial rumors of Sir Bobby Robson taking the job, the Guardian’s Ewan Murray reports on fan reaction to Hearts of Midlothian hiring the R. Kelly of professional football management.
Hearts will unveil Graham Rix (above) as their new head coach this afternoon, despite the potential for revolt among their own supporters concerned at his criminal record. The 48-year-old former Arsenal and England striker served six months of a 12-month jail sentence in 1999 after having sex with a 15-year-old girl.
Martin Laidlaw, chairman of the Hearts Supporters Trust, said: “We are absolutely gobsmacked and pretty disappointed. We expressed our concern before this appointment was made and our feelings have not changed.”
Rix’s history had earlier been viewed with alarm by fans, with Laidlaw saying: “It would not be an appropriate appointment on the basis of his offence. I appreciate he was once a highly regarded first-team coach but we feel his star and credibility have diminished after what happened outside the game.”