Hello everyone, and welcome to a dual story between myself and ebEliminator. Here we will each take charge of one half of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, with myself managing Hibernian and Eliminator managing Heart of Midlothian.
Our managers will be two, fictional old friends, both hailing from Edinburgh and divided by the football clubs they each support. Ally McDaid is a lifelong Hibernian fan while Dave Gordain has supported the other side of the capital, Hearts, for his whole life. Having previously had dreams dashed during their playing careers and having worked at either club as coaches, the pair have been given the dream chance to manage their boyhood clubs, with both in relative turmoil. Who will come out on top? Keep following to see for yourselves...
Who Will We Be?
A co-story is something we've both had our minds set on doing for a long time now, so when the opportunity arose it was too tempting to finally do. We both hope you enjoy what we plan on providing you over the coming weeks, each with our unique writing styles and ways of playing Football Manager. May the games commence!
Why Are We Doing This?
The earlier of the two Edinburgh clubs by a single year, Heart of Midlothian Football Club, commonly known as Hearts, play their home games at the city's Tynecastle Stadium. Historically one of the four best teams in Scotland, Hearts were last Scottish champions back in 1960. They have, however, won the Scottish Cup on a number of occasions since then, most recently hammering their city rivals 5-1 in the 2012 final. While the SPL in its 1998-2013 format was only ever won by Old Firm clubs Celtic and Rangers, Hearts are the only team ever to have split the pack in that league, which came in the form of a 2nd placed finish in 2006.
The Roman Abramovich of the Scottish capital, outspoken chairman Vladimir Romanov was at the helm of the Jambos for a number of years, commencing in 2005, and brought about plenty of success, but a lack of financial backing and the collapse of Romanov's Lithuanian bank drove Hearts towards administration, which they finally entered in 2013. For the coming season, Hearts will begin with a 15 point deduction, and with a squad with the youngest average age in the league and an ongoing transfer embargo, survival will be a very tough ask for the never-relegated SPL team.
Hibernian Football Club (Hibs) share the city with Hearts, and the pair have shared a fierce rivalry for over a century. Much like Celtic, Hibs were formed by Irish immigrants and thus share the green kits and Irish heritage. Last being crowned Scottish champions all the way back in 1952, they themselves have had far less cup luck. Despite beating Kilmarnock 5-1 in a 2007 League Cup Final, Hibs have lost the last ten Scottish Cup Finals they have participated in, including the most recent edition, which brought about more disappointment after the embarrassing loss to Hearts by the same scoreline.
With long-serving chairman Rod Petrie still at the top, Hibernian themselves have far better finances than their neighbours, but their recent league performances are far worse than that of Hearts. They play their home ties at Easter Road Stadium, the larger of the two stadia which has underwent incredible renovations over the past 20 years, making the transition from something straight out of the 70s into a modern, large-capacity football stadium. Unlike Hearts, the Hibees were once relegated from the SPL, in its first edition.
But the rivalry, one of the oldest in world football culture, would probably not still exist were it not for the intervention of fans. In the early 1990s, Hearts' chairman attempted to buy out the 75% share in Hibs needed to be allowed to merge the two clubs into one. Thankfully, the fans protested and were eventually able to block the takeover, and so, the derby lives on to this day.