Hearts have appointed Jim Jefferies as an advisor to the board and to support manager Robbie Neilson.
Jefferies managed Hearts on two occasions, leading the club to Scottish Cup victory in 1998, and also took charge at Falkirk, Kilmarnock and Bradford City during a 31-year coaching career.
The 69-year-old’s last job was as sporting director at Edinburgh City. He suffered a heart attack while golfing last year but has since made a full recovery.
Hearts had been working to recruit a sporting director to replace Craig Levein at Tynecastle but have put the search on hold as they deal with other matters, including their fight against relegation from the Premiership.
In the meantime, Jefferies will work on a part-time basis for the next six months to advise Ann Budge and the Hearts board on transfers, as well as to assist Neilson as he makes changes after returning to the club as manager.
In a statement on the Hearts website, as spokesperson said: “Heart of Midlothian is delighted to announce that Jim Jefferies has agreed to return to Hearts as an advisor to the board of directors.
“It is well known that we have been working on the recruitment of a full-time sporting director. However, given the time pressures and escalating costs of the ongoing challenge to our relegation, coupled with the re-opening of various parts of Tynecastle and Oriam, we have decided to put our recruitment process on hold for now.
“Such an important appointment deserves our full focus and uninterrupted attention, which, right now, is simply not possible. We thank all of those who have expressed an interest in the position and we look forward to picking up discussions when we revisit the process in a few months’ time.
“Having said this, we do need support to ensure Robbie has all the time he needs to work and focus on his first team squad ahead of the start of the 2020/21 season. To provide that support, we have reached out to Jim.
“Jim has agreed to join us for six months, on a part-time basis, to give Ann and the board advice and guidance on a range of footballing matters.
“Jim will work closely with Ann during the transfer window, which has now opened, to help make the changes to the squad that Robbie feels are needed.”
Neilson said: ” “I’m delighted to welcome Jim back to Hearts.
“He brings a wealth of experience and knows the club inside out having been hugely successful both as a player and manager at the club.
“Having worked with Jim in his first spell as manager and known him for over 20 years, his experience and expertise will be of great benefit to both the club and myself.”