BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson says the Jambos had a moral obligation to allow Jason Holt to join Rangers.
The 22-year-old this week penned a three-year deal with the Gers after the two clubs came to an agreement over a development fee for the player, who was on the books at Tynecastle for 13 years.
It is understood Hearts have banked around £100,000 for the playmaker – a knock-down fee compared to what they could have received if the matter had gone to a tribunal.
However, Neilson is adamant he had a duty to consider Holt’s future as well as his own club.
He explained: “We offered Jason a new contract and he turned it down. He hadn’t signed for anyone so what do we do? Leave him in limbo? We can’t do that, we have a responsibility to let a young player go and play football.
“Yes, we could have said ‘let’s go to tribunal’ and the boy could sit there without a club for a year or two years. He is a good kid and worked hard when he was a Hearts player and we needed to be reasonable.
“We definitely have a responsibility. He’s got to play football and we accepted an offer which we believed was fair.”
Neilson believes Holt possesses the talent to be a success at Ibrox as Rangers look to pip Hearts’ city rivals, Hibs, to promotion from the Championship.
He added: “Jason wants to play every week and that wasn’t going to happen here.
“Going down a division last year probably didn’t help him because we changed our shape and played with just two in midfield a lot of the time, which didn’t suit him.
“Although it sounds silly, he would probably have played more if we stayed in the Premier League, but he’s a good player and will do well for Rangers.”