By Douglas Walker
CHEEKY Hibs fans have designed ‘Vlad Notes’ to taunt Hearts fans with during Sunday’s derby match.
The funny money shows the Jambos owner, Vladimir Romanov, and states ‘I promise to pay the bearer as late as possible’.
Romanov owns the Lithuanian bank, Ukio Bankas, and has never been far away from controversy since taking over Hearts in 2005.
The banknotes are a dig at the Tynecastle club after their players missed a week’s wages last month.
The design is a mock-up of a 100 Litas note which is produced by Lietuvos Bankas – Bank of Lithuania.
On the fakes, the image of Lithuanian writer and historian, Simonas Daukantas, has been replaced by Romanov with his finger pressed against his lips.
The note designers have printed ‘I promise to pay the bearer as late as possible’ along the top and bottom edges as well as beneath a Ukio Bankas logo.
An image of flats is also depicted which refers to Hibs fans’ taunts of what they think will become of Tynecastle.
The Hearts crest is also shown breaking in two alongside the words ‘Going down like a Russian submarine’ which is a dig at Romanov’s purchase of the vessel he served on while in the Soviet Navy.
Hibs fans have had the notes printed in a variety of sizes including a standard bank note, A4 and A0 which is approximately one square metre.
They plan to flaunt the funny money on Sunday when the two sides clash at Easter Road.
Frank Dougan from the Hibs Supporters Association said the notes are meant in jest but also hoped they would serve a purpose.
He said: “It’s a bit of fun and should be taken in that manner.
“Hopefully the message hits home to Romanov that he has to pay what he is due.
“What happened to the Hearts players a few weeks back was a disgrace.”
Last night fans of the Gorgie side saw the funny side of the wind-up.
Callum Anderson from Dickens Hearts Supporters Club said: “The banter between the fans is brilliant and it’s hard not to laugh at the notes.
“It’s fair to say Hibees fans have two holy grails, Hearts going bust and Hibs winning the Scottish Cup.
“Unfortunately for them neither is going to happen.”
Hearts officials blamed a ‘technical hitch’ for the non payment of players’ wages on September 19.
The players were paid in full the following week but rumours about the side’s finances persist.