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Hearts: Robbie Neilson leaves Dundee United for Tynecastle return | Football News

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Neilson’s return means Daniel Stendel will no longer be involved at Hearts – he was out of contract after the club’s relegation due to a clause in his deal

Last Updated: 21/06/20 8:14pm

Robbie Neilson has left Dundee United to return to Hearts

Robbie Neilson has left Dundee United to return to Hearts

Hearts have confirmed the appointment of former manager Robbie Neilson on a three-year contract after they agreed a compensation package with Dundee United.

Neilson returns to Tynecastle for his second spell in charge after guiding Dundee United to the Championship title last season following the curtailment of Scottish football due to the coronavirus crisis.

United say an approach for Neilson, who won the Championship with Hearts in 2015 in his first stint in charge, was initially rejected before the 40-year-old insisted he be able to speak to his former club.

Neilson led Hearts to the Championship title in his first spell in charge

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Neilson led Hearts to the Championship title in his first spell in charge

Hearts are facing up to the prospect of playing Championship football next season after being relegated following the abandonment of last season – a decision they are challenging by taking the SPFL to court, and contesting Dundee United’s promotion in the process – but that has not dissuaded Neilson from making a return to Gorgie.

He told the Hearts Website: “You don’t turn down the chance to come to a club like Hearts and I’m absolutely delighted to be coming back.

2:16
The start of the next SPFL season could be suspended while the legal challenges of Hearts is ongoing, says former Hearts player David Winnie

The start of the next SPFL season could be suspended while the legal challenges of Hearts is ongoing, says former Hearts player David Winnie

“I had some great experiences here, both as a player and manager, and I’m keen to pick up where I left off. Everyone knows there is a really good squad at Hearts and I’m excited to begin working with the players and staff.

“Finally, I’d like to say thank you to Dundee United for the opportunity they gave me two years ago. I hope the United fans feel that together we managed to restore the club back to where it belongs.”

Daniel Stendel will leave Hearts

Daniel Stendel will leave Hearts

Neilson’s return to Edinburgh means former Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel will no longer be involved at Hearts. He was out of contract after the club’s relegation due to a clause in his contract.

Dundee United sporting director Tony Asghar revealed the club were keen to keep Neilson at Tannadice ahead of their return to the Premiership next season but said terms were agreed with Hearts after Neilson asked to speak to his former club.

Neilson guided Dundee United to the Championship title last season

Neilson guided Dundee United to the Championship title last season

Asghar said: “I can confirm that I was called today by Ann Budge seeking permission to speak with Robbie Neilson to become Hearts’ new head coach.

“This was turned down, however, after lengthy discussions with Robbie he made it clear he wished to speak with them. As a result of this, the contractual termination clause has been met and Robbie will leave the club.

“As head coach, he led the team to a play-off final before achieving promotion with a Championship title this season and I would like to thank him for his contribution.

Hearts remain intent on appointing a sporting director as soon as possible

Hearts remain intent on appointing a sporting director as soon as possible

“Gordon Forest and Lee McCulloch will continue leading our pre-season preparations ahead of the Scottish Premiership restart and we will look to appoint a new head coach as soon as possible.”

Hearts remain intent on appointing a sporting director as soon as possible, and are interviewing for the position this week.

Last week owner Ann Budge said she intended to appoint a sporting director before a new manager or head coach.

Neilson was sacked by MK Dons in January 2018

Neilson was sacked by MK Dons in January 2018

Neilson started his playing career at Hearts, winning the Scottish Cup in 2006, before spells at Leicester and Dundee United.

He left his first spell in charge at Hearts in December 2016 to take over at MK Dons but was sacked in January 2018 before returning to Scotland to take over at Dundee United.

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