Back then, the chief-executive of Hearts at the time, Chris Robinson, had broken the news that the club had entered into a deal with the Scottish Media Group (SMG).
Robinson seemed particularly happy telling BBC Scotland: "There's certainly going to be investment particularly in the playing squad.
"We're going to look to build a first-class youth academy and we will put some money into continuing to develop the stadium.
"It's an investment in the club by a strong partner who we believe is the right partner for Hearts Football Club in the medium term."
Fans were certainly encouraged and while then-manager Jim Jefferies was given a chunk of cash to buy players (some good – Antti Niemi, some very poor – Gordan Petric) there were alarm bells in the distance.
Robinson’s partner in Hearts, Leslie Deans – who had helped him complete his buyout of Wallace Mercer back in 1994 – had resigned from the board in light of this deal.
The club dressed it up as an amicable step down but it turned out to be anything but with the SMG deal rumoured to be the cause.
Jim Traynor – then of the Daily Record – raised a crucial point which had got lost in amongst the fanfare.
Noticing the £3.5m that consisted of convertible loan stock, he asked the question, what would happen if SMG chose not to convert the loan into stock and demand their money to be repaid by the time that option expired by 2003?
It was a valid query but Traynor was witheringly dismissed by Robinson as a doubting Thomas who was scare-mongering – no doubt playing to the fans’ latent mistrust (rightly or wrongly) of any media that happened to be based in the west coast.
While he made have had issues involving finely-prepared lamb in the past, Traynor would be spot on when scrutinising this particular deal.
What would happen over the next five years would see Hearts lurch into a massive financial crisis which saw civil war at both board and supporter level to the point where it was on its knees with no option but to deal with the Devil when Vladimir Romanov hoved into view.
The honeymoon over the SMG deal lasted less than a year which despite the investment saw Robinson tell Jefferies he had to cut the playing staff as the wage bill had spiraled.
Confusion amongst the support reigned – after all, they had been told a few months earlier that Hearts would be in a position to elevate themselves to be a major player in Scottish football.
The relationship between Robinson and Jefferies disintegrated with the latter leaving to be replaced by Craig Levein.
While Levein was willing to accept he would have to be prudent, civil war upstairs was about to break.
While not on the board, Deans was still a major shareholder and feeling that Robinson’s deal with SMG and the subsequent botched-up presentation of what it meant to the club to the supporters, he in turn attempted to try and resolve the matter of Hearts’ increasing debt.
Along with business associate Robert McGrail, Deans offered £8million to Robinson to help the club out.
Unfortunately, their relationship had sunk so low that Robinson was prepared to cut off his nose to spite his face rather than have any dealings with his former co-owner.
Even his predecessor, Wallace Mercer, said in 2001 that this was a high-risk strategy.
Robinson though had a plan to solve all of this by looking to build a new stadium in the Pentlands area of Edinburgh in which he spoke lavishly of what such a venue could bring to Hearts but crucially not indicating how funding for this scheme was going to be raised.
Meanwhile, as Levein continued to trim the wage bill and replace those who had left with cheap bargain buys, in 2001 Hearts made a pre-tax loss of £3.8million with the debt rising to £10.2million.
More of a concern was SMG themselves running into their own financial difficulties.Robinson himself said late in 2001 that if the financial position had not improved with 12 months, he would not last another season.
He said: "I would not be here if we had record losses again. The board would tell me that I’m totally incompetent.
"We work a year ahead with our forecasts. If our figures are not significantly better next year, you will have to be speaking to a new chief executive."
When asked about whether or not SMG would convert their loan into stock, Robinson gave a terse response.
He replied: "We are going into an area I don’t want to discuss."
However, by 2002, SMG’s own financial worries ensured that another year went by without the loan being converted into stock with the fear that they would not do so 12 months later come the final deadline hanging heavy over the club.
Along came 2003 and with the SMG decision approaching, there was more bad news when the club’s share price on the stock market had dropped from 63p to 20.5p.
It did rise up slightly to 24.5p but this was not good news for those hoping for a recovery under the Robinson regime with the man himself despite his bold statement of falling on his sword in 2001 still in his role.
Robinson though had a plan and it certainly raised an eyebrow or two – build and share a new stadium with Edinburgh-rivals Hibs at Straiton.
Both sets of fans had their doubters.
Hibs more than Hearts with those in Leith still remembering the bitterness caused by Mercer’s hare-brained scheme in 1990 to merge the two clubs and create an Edinburgh ‘superteam’.
While Hibs had their own financial worries, they still had the means to ease the burden of debt via their own means as was pointed out when they consulted their fanbase who overwhelmingly rejected the plan.
Clearly this was a case of Hearts needing the deal to go through more than Hibs who pulled out of the plan choosing to deal with their debt by selling the car-park they owned on the east of their Easter Road stadium with players in subsequent years being sold to trim their debt level.
What Robinson would do next would plunge Hearts into turmoil.
The grand design (sic) was, sell their home of Tynecastle Stadium and become rent-paying tenants of the Scottish Rugby Union to play at Murrayfield – a rugby stadium whose capacity was over three times greater than Tynecastle.
Why had he come up with this?
SMG had decided they would not convert their loan into stock and they wanted their money back.
The debt had been steadily growing but this decision took it to £17.6million.
When giving their reasons, SMG that its money had not been invested as originally intended.
The group’s financial director George Watson stated that the cash was meant to fund a combination of investment in players, youth development and stadium improvement yet it was spent simply on players and "club running costs".
He told the Scotsman newspaper back in 2003: "As Hearts’ largest shareholder SMG did indeed have high hopes for our 1999 investment in the club but this has proved not to be the case.
"Against a background of the fall in value of football stocks across the country, all our attempts to build the Hearts ‘brand’ proved too difficult for the club to implement.
"The £8million investment - intended to be split between player investment, developing the club’s youth policy and stadium improvements - was spent on players and club running costs.
"With the Hearts share price now standing at some 12 per cent of its 1999 level, it would have been financial folly to convert our loan into shares at the final deadline for doing so this October.
"However, it is important to understand that converting this loan into shares - or even writing the loan off - would not solve the financial situation in which Hearts finds itself through continuing losses and debts significantly greater than the amount owed to SMG."
Deans came back on the scene with an offer of £10million to help the club but was rejected by Robinson – no doubt miffed that the condition of the investment was his removal.
Deans said at the time: "While the proposal suited Hearts, it did not suit Chris Robinson."
Meanwhile, Robinson issued a document http://www.zinescene.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/MOBpurpose.htm claiming the reason why Hearts had to leave Tynecastle was because it was “not fit for purpose” citing Uefa regulations deeming the ground to be unsuitable for European football.
Uefa on the other hand said otherwise.
There would be no intention to ban Hearts from Europe, and that home matches in the Uefa Cup or Champions League could be transferred to another stadium.
"If their pitch is not big enough they would still qualify for European competitions if they provide another venue for those matches," a Uefa spokesman told The Scotsman.
"If they meet all requirements set by their national association, they would be able to play domestic games at their own stadium and European games at another stadium providing that they can find a stadium which meets our criteria.
"In short, if Tynecastle turned out not to be up to Uefa standards, Hearts could still play domestic football there but Uefa would allow them to move European games to Murrayfield or any other stadium."
Discontent amongst the support continued to grow.
Hearts' average crowd of 14,000 in a 68000 capacity of Murrayfield would create a soulless atmosphere compared to the raucous one that Tynecastle would provide.
There was no guarantee that the current playing staff, including the likes of Paul Hartley, Craig Gordon, Andy Webster and Steven Pressley being rumoured to be sold off to the highest bidder.
Even low-wage earners like Andy Kirk were not sure if the club could even afford to keep him on.
Poor atmosphere combined with a team gutted of not only its star players but its core players as well, with only kids coming in, brought fears of a potential relegation and even part-time football.
Club legend Gary MacKay being extremely vocal going as so far to call for Robinson to leave and even removed his Scotland jersey that had been for years been on display within the Tynecastle corridors.
Another legend, this time Dave McKay who played in the club’s glory era of the 1950s, told the Weekly News that back when he was a player Hearts had considered a move to Murrayfield.
However, he made this salient point: “Back then we had a team who could fill it. We don’t have one now.”
Former Hearts striker Donald Ford added his voice to the debate chastising Robinson for his mismanagement of the club.
He wrote in The Scotsman; “There are nothing but distress signals, lifeboats and short term fixes.
"For a public limited company to be run in such fashion, with doubts raised about the very people who are in control and the transparency of their dealings, is unforgivable, especially when the ultimate consequence might be the death of the club.
"We all know at whose door blame will be laid if the unthinkable happens.”
Robinson was clearly out of his depth and this became more apparent with wild off-the-cuff schemes such as whisking three of Tynecastle’s four stands to a secret location to be stored until the club could find a site to build a new stadium – without indicating when that day would come.
Another was to play home games against Celtic in Australia to tap into both clubs’ ex-pat support Down Under.
Then Celtic manager, Martin O’Neill reacted with astonishment to this saying; "When it was mentioned to me today I thought it was a joke.
"Are you saying we have to a play a match in Australia, getting there and travel back?”
Desperate, Robinson – who also suffered the indignity of being attacked by a supporter outside Tynecastle - made a decision that did make sense, appointing Labour politician George Foulkes as chairman to see if he could find any alternatives to help Hearts’ growing debt by managed.
More crucially, Foulkes would try to see if Hearts could be kept at Tynecastle.
But time was running out and then came the bombshell.
Hearts had agreed to see Tynecastle to property developer Cala for £22million which would cover the debt which had escalated to £20million by then.
However, Foulkes had been busy seeing if there would be anybody out there willing to take on the club.
There were no takers except for one.
The Russian-born Lithuanian had been seeking to buy a Scottish club so that he could have a platform to showcase talent from his homeland to a wider TV audience with a view to selling them to bigger clubs.
Hindsight may be always 20/20 when looking back, but for those saying that more should have been done to 'check Romanov out', the answer is simple.
He did check out.
Foulkes used his contacts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to do some background on Romanov.
The verdict was this guy was a bona fide man of wealth.
He would squander his vast amounts of cash in years to come, but back in 2004, he had it in abundance.
Why would a Baltic-Russian been keen on buying a club in Scotland?
Given that with Hearts being situated in Edinburgh – one of Europe’s key financial cities – Romanov saw an added opportunity in establishing his bank, Ukio Bankas, in the Scottish capital.
It was a Robert Johnson meets the Devil at the crossroads moment.
Shake hands with the dark one or be consigned to oblivion.
With Hearts desperate for a solution to their ills, and Robinson no doubt keen to bail out from the vitriolic maroon masses baying for his neck, the club shook hands with Romanov.
We all know what happened in the subsequent years which culminated with the club going into administration two years ago and only being rescued from liquidation this time last year.
Romanov’s actions while in charge of Hearts led them down this path and he was culpable for the club’s near fall.
Yet had Chris Robinson had done his job and not jumped in feet first into a deal with SMG, those down Gorgie way would never have heard of Vladimir Romanov in the first place.