How sad that Hearts had to wait from pressure from the media, the public and their sponsors before suspending sex offender Craig Thomson. The fact that he was not sacked – never mind suspended -as soon as he was convicted brings shame on the Scottish club and their ridiculous owner Vladimir Romanov.

Some may say it is hard to write off the career of a promising 20-year-old footballer who has much to offer the game, and he should be given a second chance. But I am sorry. No way. There can be no place for  the former Young Player of the Month on a professional football pitch at this point in time because some crimes are impossible to reconcile in a sport where the participants are regarded as heroes by their fans.

Craig Thomson – a former Scottish
Player of the Month

The truth is he has already been given a second chance by the judge who decided not to give him a jail sentence following a conviction for ‘lewd, libidinous and indecent behaviour’. The facts are Thomson is now a convicted paedophile who has been placed on the sex offenders register for 5 years for preying on underage girls – one as young as 12 – via the internet.

It is hard to imagine circumstances where Thomson can be allowed back into the game. But at the very least he must be banned from football while he is on the sex offenders list and he must work hard in the meantime to prove he has been cured of his sexual addiction of preying on under age girls.

When Hearts tried to stand by their man yesterday and their owner Romanov made a bizarre rant attacking outside influences and even the mafia it was a grotesque act of choosing money over morals. Romanov has a history of eccentric and often controversial outbursts since first buying a stake in Hearts in 2004. But this was a new low.

Sacking a prize asset will hurt Hearts financially. But the realisation that failing to do so could hurt them even more because of the risk of  sponsors pulling out and fans threatening to abandon the club could hurt them more. That is why Hearts will surely see the light and sack Thomson eventually.

But how sad that Hearts’ decision will be based on financial considerations and not doing the right thing.


ridiculous VLADIMIR ROMANOV rants
have brought shame on Hearts