sport

Hearts call time on Brown

Hearts assistant manager Billy Brown will be leaving the club this month in the latest round of cost-cutting at Tynecastle.

Club managing director David Southern and director of football John Murray have also agreed to wage cuts as the club continues to plot a path out of administration.

Brown was contracted until 31 January on a short-term deal; his final game in the dugout will be against St Johnstone on 19 January.

A Hearts statement read: "We would like to put on record our gratitude to Billy for his sterling efforts in helping Gary Locke since his arrival in July.

"He has been of considerable assistance to Hearts over the last six months and we know he appreciates the need to refresh the team coupled with the need for continued financial prudence. We wish him well in the future."

Brown urged supporters to continue backing Gary Locke and the team, saying: "I am very disappointed my contract will not be renewed but that is the way things are at the club and I have to accept that.

"I urge all supporters to get behind Gary and the team for the remainder of the season and would like to thank everybody who has helped me in my third spell at Hearts, especially the players and staff whose spirit remains remarkable."

Bryan Jackson, the joint administrator of Hearts and business restructuring partner with BDO, said: "Both David and John have kindly accepted a cut in wages to help reduce the running costs at the club.

"We remain focused on the main issue of getting Hearts out of administration by negotiating with the Lithuanian administrators for the transfer of shares.

"However, a key element in the success of this administration is keeping Hearts solvent throughout this process until the share transfer can occur and all issues can be resolved."