In fairness, the report appeared in The Sunday Times in October, 2005. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.
In the case of Heart of Midlothian Football Club, water that invariably has the severed head of a Tynecastle manager bobbing up and down in it. Jim Duffy's among them.
But give the largely unknown status of Canary new-boy Julien Brellier, parts of the report are worth repeating at length given that most people in this neck of the woods wouldn't know 'The Judge' from Adam. Or even Eve.
“Why should Julien Brellier be in the Hearts team? This is the question that Vladimir Romanov is alleged to have asked George Burley, written on a piece of paper upon which the Tynecastle manager was invited to etch his retort and his signature before Hearts played Dundee United in August,” the Times piece of that autumn ran.
“Why should Julien Brellier be in the Hearts team? A talented defensive midfielder can become a central figure to any side in more ways than one, but it can take a while for the appreciation of such a player to spread.
“Supporters initially swept away by Rudi Skacel's goalscoring streak during his first seven Premierleague matches have come to value the Frenchman's uncanny positional sense. It is a trait he shares with Neil Lennon, who will fill the same role for Celtic when the teams meet in Glasgow on Saturday.
“The media spotlight shines a little brighter with each week spent at the top of the table by this team, and the writers who are chronicling their exploits have come around to Brellier's consistency. That is an attribute demanded to play effectively in front of the back four, and it is that unit who have been most forthcoming with praise.
“Along with goalkeeper Craig Gordon, Robbie Neilson, Andy Webster, Steven Pressley and Takis Fyssas have provided the foundation for Hearts' flying start, conceding six goals in their nine league matches. Pressley does not let that stat pass without including Brellier in his gang.
“His unselfish work allows Andy Webster and me to play much more centrally as he is the one who drops into wider areas to support our full-backs when they need it,” said the Tynecastle captain after the win over Rangers, arguably Brellier's best performance so far…
For those who know their Scottish football, events at Tynecastle under the Romanov rule have been an utter soap opera – more The Sopranos than Emmerdale, to be fair. Bloody and very messy. Pressley's own departure was one of the more bitter episodes of the Romanov rule – and there have been plenty. Ask Duffy.
Now roll the clock forward two more years to a piece that appeared on The Scotsman website just before Brellier's contract was cut short weeks before it was due to end. What is fascinating is the fact that Romanov's opinion appears to have remained stubbornly unaltered – despite the continuing adulation from the stands.
“Julien Brellier has conducted an illicit love affair with the Hearts support for almost two years,” said The Scotsman piece this May. “Illicit, that is, in the eyes of Vladimir Romanov, the club owner.
“With the relationship now nearing its conclusion, UEFA Cup qualification would be the perfect farewell gift for Brellier to leave his adoring legions.
“If you must go, then finish with a flourish, is Brellier's approach. Why this iconic Frenchman is being cut adrift from Tynecastle is beyond even the most philosophical of football observers but, on June 30 – less than seven weeks away – Brellier ceases to be a Hearts player.
“A return to his homeland is likely upon the expiry of his contract but, in years to come, he'll be the subject of much bar-room reminiscing across Edinburgh. More cult hero than club legend, more Pasquale Bruno than John Robertson, Brellier's ability to command the holding midfield role has seen him revered at Tynecastle like never before.
“He speaks candidly of his affection for fans who literally worship his every move, whether it's a jog off the substitutes' bench or a lunge into a critical midfield tackle. The adulation ignites a craving deep in the 25-year-old's stomach, a desire for one last parting gift.
“Hearts have four points to overhaul during their final two SPL fixtures to achieve a place in next season's UEFA Cup preliminary stages. Brellier will be long gone by the time the second qualifying round begins in August as Romanov refuses to offer improved terms to a player he doesn't rate…”
Cue this afternoon's Press conference at Carrow Road and one of the more enlightening moments of the nature of the man.
The question touched on the endless dramas at Tynecastle; that did the instability behind the scenes influence his decision to leave? Romanov has still to appoint a new manager.
“Yes,” he said simply. “Yes, of course.” And that was that. No more elaboration; no more by way of explanation. But you sensed, even on a first meeting, that there were certain aspects of life at Tynecastle that he won't miss.
The fans, however, are another story having defiantly fluttered a huge Tricolor with 'Le Juge' written across it.
“I'm not sure why they called me 'The Judge' – maybe through my style of play. I'm not sure,” said the 25-year-old. “You'd have to ask the supporters.”
A question for Duffy, perhaps, who was clearly a key reason why the Frenchman arrived in Norfolk this afternoon.
“I received a call from Jim Duffy maybe two weeks ago and he was an important reason why I came here – that you have someone who knows you.
“I had several clubs after me but I wanted to take my time and make the right decision – and I'm sure I did that,” he added.
As for his style of play, it was hard not to draw comparisons with Gary Holt of 2004 fame.
“I'm a tough player – and I can play football as well. Plus I like to win the ball; I am a team player. I just like to win the ball and play a simple pass for the other players.”
“He's 25 but he plays with an old head on young shoulders,” said Grant, in his second welcome speech of the week.
“We're very, very pleased to have him and I think he'll turn out to be a coup for us – there's no doubt in my mind about that and if I was a supporter I'd be delighted that we'd signed someone of his ability.”