On My Mind Disciples
12 June 2014, 05:00
Hearts bosses say "the hard work starts here", after bringing their year-long administration nightmare to an end.
The club officially exited administration last night following a hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
The first order of business is to get season tickets on sale as quickly as possible, something we should hear more about today.
The club called in finance troubleshooters on June 19 last year after mounting up debts of almost £30million.
But administrator Bryan Jackson of BDO confirmed the club had been given the green light to resume normal operations.
He told Press Association Sport: "I'm relieved. It has been a difficult year but now the club can move forward.''
Hearts' future was put in doubt last year as former owner Vladimir Romanov's Lithuanian business empire crumbled around him.
But a £2.5million rescue bid was put together by new chairwoman Ann Budge and fans' group the Foundation of Hearts which ultimately saved the club from being liquidated.
Budge has now taken charge of shares owned by Ukio Bankas and UBIG - Romanov's former companies which were also Hearts' major creditors and shareholders - but she will eventually cede control to the FoH.
The fans' group has 8,000 paying members who moved to secure the club's future when it was under serious threat.
For accountant Jackson, Hearts become the latest club to be thankful for his efforts.
He has already helped pull Clyde, Dundee, Dunfermline, Motherwell and Portsmouth from the brink.
They were fined 15 points by the Scottish Professional Football League at the start of last season and banned from signing new players.
That left boss Gary Locke with an impossible task and his side were inevitably relegated from the top flight.
Budge's first act when she took effective control of the Tynecastle outfit last month was to axe Locke and promote Robbie Neilson from youth-team boss to become the club's new coach.
Former boss Craig Levein was also tempted back to Gorgie as he was named the club's director of football and, with the administration nightmare now officially over, they will once again be given the thumbs up to sign players.
Neilson has already been linked with moves for released Hamilton striker James Keatings and former Dundee United midfielder Morgaro Gomis.
But for the fans, they will finally be able to breath easily after 357 days of turmoil.
In a tweet, the Foundation of Hearts told the club's faithful: "The Club is officially out of administration. We said in March to put the champagne in the fridge. Today you have permission to pop the cork.
"This has only been possible because of you, the supporters of this great and proud club. Well done and thank you.''
Budge said: "By now you will have all heard and, yes, it's true, we have formally exited administration!
"Everyone associated with the club is ecstatic and now we can really begin to move ahead in implementing our plans for the future.
"With the greatest respect to Bryan, Trevor, Bob and Duncan from BDO, we are all delighted to see them go! On a serious note, however, we owe them a huge thank you for putting in the hours to get us out of administration this week, as promised.
"So what now? Well, the first thing is to get season tickets on sale as quickly as possible and the club will be issuing information regarding this (on Wednesday).
"Following this, we will shortly be issuing information on new signings and more pre-season friendlies which, I know, is what all the fans are desperate to hear."