Former Caley Thistle boss John Hughes reckons Hearts will be a big miss to the Scottish Premiership.
With the decision to call the season to an end in the top flight, mirroring the other three divisions, it appears the Jambos will be relegated, save for any belated reconstruction.
Hughes spent four years at their city rivals Hibernian as a player and had a year as manager at Easter Road.
There is no tribalism on his part, believing Hearts form an important part in the branding of Scottish football.
He also expresses a degree of sympathy for the decision-makers in the Scottish game as they steer through the current crisis.
Hughes said: “I look at people who are in charge and I sympathise with them. Anything you do, someone will have a go at you. Then you’re saying could it be handled better?
“I don’t want to see Hearts go down – we need them in the Premiership. It’s good for Scottish football and our brand.
“I think Hearts are going to have to take their medicine, but they’re going to be missed.
“It’s a fantastic stadium, a great club and one that deserves to be playing its football in the Premiership.”
The image of Scottish football to the wider world has taken a beating over the past few weeks, with unsavoury mud-slinging coming to the fore and arguably some of the more important matters being lost amid the noise.
Hughes said: “I stopped listening and reading because I think it’s turned into a bun-fight.
“I’ve seen people come out and say it’s about self-preservation; it’s been like that since I was a kid.
“But you can’t make rules for some and rules for others. My heart goes out to the teams that have been relegated.
“One of my mates, Ian McCall at Partick Thistle, he’s played a game less than the team above them, yet his team goes down? Stranraer go down, Falkirk a point behind Raith.”
Even in the current climate, his desire to get back into management has not waned.
Hughes admits to have enjoyed a couple of years out a little too much, but he has not had a managerial job since leaving Raith Rovers in 2017.
“My calling and passion is being a manager,” he said.
“It has to be the right chance; I’ve knocked four or five back. I missed out on a good one abroad a couple of months ago.
“I’m just looking for the right club. If that opportunity comes then hopefully it comes my way.
“Nine times out of 10 in football it is who you know. My CV stands up to anything, even right back to Falkirk.”