|Craig Thomson seen promoting a kids reading scheme|
Here is a brief recap of events.
On 17th June the 20-year-old defender pleaded guilty to lewd, libidinous and indecent behaviour towards two girls, aged 12 and 14 over the Internet. He was fined £4000 and placed on the sex offenders register.
A week later, 24th June, the club issued this statement. Opening with the line:
"What's happening with the club today is not a new thing. For almost 7 years we have been fighting to shield the club from crooks, criminals and thieves. Many of the top players at the club have felt the bitter results of the swindles that have been carried out with them on their own skin."
Continuing with a clear reference to the Thomson affair to conclude with:
"Mafia are dragging kids into the crime, in order to blackmail and profit on them. It is not possible to separate these people from pedophiles, and you don't need to do that. Each year we are forced to fight against these maniacs harder and harder. We are standing in their way not letting them manipulate the game of football in the way they want. As such they undermine us in every possible way they can.
"The task of the club is to tear these kids out of hands of criminals."
That's right even though the player admitted guilt for the crime in a court of law it is still some external forces fault.
On Saturday they said that they had carried out their own investigation which had "provided a complete picture of the entire circumstances relating to the case" and "accepted that there are sufficient mitigating circumstances that provide significant assurance that the player's conduct, no matter how distasteful, was the result of a grave error of judgment due to naivety and possible wrong outside influence rather than anything more sinister and it will not be repeated." Therefore they seem to take the opinion that they are a higher court than the procurator fiscal.
On Sunday the BBC published a story about a call to sack the player.
Yesterday the clubs drink's sponsor was the first to formerly sever ties with the club.
Today the club have suspended the player. However, as with their statement on Friday they are still claiming mitigating circumstances.
"In reaching this decision, the club accepted that there are sufficient mitigating circumstances that provide significant assurance that the player's conduct, no matter how distasteful, was the result of a grave error of judgment due to naivety and possible wrong outside influence rather than anything more sinister and it will not be repeated."
Apparently at the time of the conviction the Club knew of the guilty plead. Therefore what mitigating circumstances could there have been. If he was not guilty they should have fought that through the courts, it is not like Romanov (the Club Chairman and owner) doesn't have a team of lawyers at his disposal.
What any Scottish football fan is well aware of in that Romanov has a victims attitude. A footballing decision on the pitch goes against him, it is the SFAs fault. His player punches the lights out of another player on the park in front of 20,000 fans it was the opposition player's face that moved into the fist of the Hearts player.Therefore one of his players pleads guilty to a crime that he will know leads to him being placed on the sex offenders register (not a pleasant situation to be in if you are innocent) it is 'obviously' somebody else's fault.
It is time for the Hearts Board to grow a pair and do the right thing. Finally realise that they were not responsible for the player's actions but are responsible for the message that they send out in light of his conviction.