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By ESPN Staff

Romanov fined for blast at match officials

The Scottish Football Association has fined Hearts majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov £10,000 for breaches of its articles of association.

Comments made on the club's website in September referred to the conduct of match officials during Hearts' successful Tennents' Scottish Cup run last season.

Romanov said: 'Last season, you didn't manage to protect the Scottish Cup and gave it to Hearts, despite all the referees' efforts and intrigues.'

Hearts were fined £10,000 by the SFA in October after being found guilty of a disrepute charge for carrying the comments on their official website.

However, the club appealed against the punishment and have not paid the fine.

The individual charge against Romanov was deferred at the same meeting of the SFA's general purposes committee because the Lithuanian-based banker did not attend.

But the SFA declared that a ruling would be made at the meeting today whether the Russian-born businessman turned up or not.

The SFA closed a loophole in May that had allowed Romanov to air his outspoken views with impunity because he has no official post at Tynecastle.

The resolution means every person holding authority at a club or control over the board falls under the SFA's jurisdiction.

However, the SFA statement explained: 'In response to correspondence from his lawyers that he is not a club official under the terms of the articles of association, the committee first determined that Mr Romanov is an official of Heart of Midlothian FC, and comes under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Football Association.

'The committee then found that the statement was critical of referees and brought the game into disrepute.

'Mr Romanov and his legal advisers declined the opportunity to appear before the Committee.

'Mr Romanov has the opportunity to appeal against the fine, within seven days of receiving written notification.'