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Stand-in role for Clark as Jordan is shown the door
4 May 1993
THE inevitable happened at Tynecastle yesterday when it was announced that Joe Jordan's reign as manager of Hearts was over, even though his contract does not expire until September 19.
A short statement confirmed Jordan's removal and Sandy Clark's elevation from coach to interim manager -- and it is expected he will be given the job on a permanent basis -- but it had been obvious for some time that all was not well within Wallace Mercer's club.
Jordan, who succeeded Alex MacDonald, now managing Airdrie, in September, 1990, was believed to have been on £100,000 a year, but he had grown disillusioned with the job and at the end of last year was openly critical when offered an extension to his contract.
Eventually the new deal was withdrawn and Jordan, who often has given the impression of being an idealist in a world which sometimes seems overrun by slick talkers and tricksters, must have known his days in Edinburgh were numbered.
Any disappointment he may be feeling could turn to delight because he may well be the ideal managerial candidate in the eyes of Dundee United chairman Jim McLean, who is quitting the manager's office at Tannadice at the end of this season.
Jordan, who was taken from his managerial post with Bristol City -- the Ashton Gate club claimed substantial compensation -- to revitalise Hearts, found it increasingly difficult and frustrating that he was expected to compete for honours with a thin squad and a limited budget.
Some managers are able to live with these restrictions, but Jordan, a former Leeds United, Manchester United, AC Milan, and Scotland internationalist striker, wanted assurances.
Hearts, in financial difficulties, obviously were not in a position to satisfy their manager, and a break-up was on the cards.
"I am surprised by the decision, but only in its timing," he said.
The 41-year-old added that the chairman, no doubt, would explain in more detail, but the chairman has been out of the country for something like five weeks and is not expected within the next fortnight.
The day Jordan said he would sign for Hearts the chairman said: "I have put into his hands the closest thing to my heart." Yesterday, from afar, Mercer took it all away again and put Hearts into the control of Clark, who may well be given the job on a permanent basis at the end of the season.
Frank Connor will remain as assistant manager and Jordan said: "I'm delighted the directors have confirmed my faith in the backroom staff.
"I regard my time at Hearts as having been successful with limited resources and having to sell to satisfy creditors.
Jordan has had to settle for taking in free signings and only occasionally was he allowed to buy.
It is ironic that only a matter of months ago Jordan was being tipped for various other jobs.
A methodical, well organised sort, these qualities will appeal to McLean but it might help if Jordan could lighten up a bit.
Jordan, it is widely thought, was not especially good at forming relationships with his players, something which MacDonald did remarkably well and perhaps Clark, if he is to get the best out of the staff and win the job for himself, will need to have a combination of both these managers' good points.
He will also need money.
Taken from the Herald