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Weekend Premier League predictions

Premier League
By ESPN Staff

Romanov ramps stakes with latest media rant

Hearts majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov issued a cryptic, bizarre and vague statement which appeared to claim refereeing was open to corruption - but without specifying whether he believed Scottish clubs and match officials were cheating the system.

Delivering his message through the Hearts website, Romanov's carefully-worded tirade is sure to interest the Scottish Premier League, however its content was almost impenetrable in terms of interpretation.

Addressing the media, who Romanov has taken to describing as `monkeys', the Lithuanian declared: 'Today I will express my opinion in English about refereeing in order that your Mowgli will not make you tell lies.

'To discuss whether referees take money or not is the same as discussing a woman who gives herself with no love.

'Isn't it better to concentrate on the standard of their work instead of looking for reasons for their poor performance?

'A woman cheats herself and nature if she gives herself without love. If a referee officiates a game based on his personal love, he commits a cynical crime, especially when the public has trusted him.

'I respect those referees who take money from two stupid teams and then honestly officiates a game. They do not harm football in any way.

'Though it is bad, still everybody is equal for them. Perhaps that is the reason why football in Italy will never die despite all the scandals that continuously shake it.

'I think that is much better than being the champions for 40 years while building up the same system for further 40 years.'