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Sporting director now focus for Budge

Hearts hail ‘new era’ with appointment of Stendel

Search: Ann Budge (pic: SNS Group)

Daniel Stendel has been confirmed as Hearts’ new boss, ending the club’s five-week search for Craig Levein’s successor.

The 45-year-old former Barnsley manager has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at Tynecastle, although the clubs are embroiled in compensation claims.

The German was sacked by Barnsley in October – the same month Levein was relieved of his duties – after a 10-game winless run. He remained on the payroll, however, bringing an added layer of complexity to the negotiations.

A statement from Hearts said: “While it has taken some time for this process to reach its conclusion we firmly believe that Daniel is the right man to take the club forward.

“With our number one target now on board and his future pledged to Hearts, everyone at Tynecastle Park welcomes Daniel and hopes his appointment heralds an exciting new era for the club as, together, we look to climb back up the Ladbrokes Premiership table.”

The club’s confirmation of his appointment just hours after another league defeat to Motherwell left the Jambos clear of bottom place in the table only by goal difference, will take the heat off owner Ann Budge for the time being.

Supporters were becoming increasingly frustrated at the length of time it was taking to bring in a new manager, the team’s performances suffering in the process.

The arrival of the German, whose only managerial post prior to Oakwell was at Hannover 96, is likely to spell the end for Austin MacPhee, who has failed to impress since assuming the caretaker duties in the wake of Levein’s exit.

With Stendel poised to bring in trusted lieutenants Chris Stern and Dale Tonge as his backroom team, coaches Liam Fox and John Daly are set to join Levein’s former No. 2 MacPhee on the way out of Gorgie.

Budge will now turn her attention to filling the newly-created role of sporting director.



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