Hearts To Enter Administration
Hearts may have endured their ``darkest day'' by applying to enter administration, but MP Ian Murray believes they can recover from their problems.
Murray is heading up the Foundation of Hearts Supporters who are looking to take over the cash-strapped club, who last night confirmed they are to enter the process, having lodged papers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
They are understood to have approached accountancy firm KPMG to act on their behalf.
A club spokesman told Press Association Sport: ``We are not in administration yet but we have served our intention to appoint administrators.''
The move follows a sustained period of financial tension at Tynecastle, with the club last week served with a winding-up order because of an unpaid £100,000 tax bill, although the majority of that sum has been paid.
They were then hit with an immediate transfer embargo after admitting they could not afford to pay their players. ``Today is the darkest day in the history of Heart of Midlothian Football Club, but in tragedy which has finally befallen the club, we must look to the future,'' Murray said last night.
``A club with a history as rich and proud as any in the world, now only us, the supporters can ensure Hearts has a future, and not just a future, but a future we can be proud of.
``The Foundation of Hearts is committed to a fan-led, community governed, transparent, and well-structured football club, at which supporters are at the very heart.
``We are backed by every one of the key supporters groups, by a significant group of former players, and by key players in the Edinburgh business community.
``There has been speculation upon speculation as to potential bidders for the club but that is all that it has been. The only real and credible buffers at this stage are the Foundation of Hearts and that is why we are asking every Hearts fan for their support.''
Michael Stewart made over 100 appearances for the Jambos and is well acquainted with the club's problems.
``There's a certain level of inevitability that administration was coming sooner rather than later,'' he told Sky Sports News.
``There's a lot of excess surrounding the club and a lot of staff may be lost. The club needs to clear the decks. It's well documented the club is saddled with a huge amount of debt.''
The club's transfer embargo was an extension of a temporary ban they were already under after the league learned of their tax problems.
The SPL took action just 24 hours after the Gorgie board released a statement saying they had entered a ``critical'' stage in their battle to pay off debts of £25million as well as financing tax and running costs.
The entire Jambos squad was put up for sale in a desperate bid to raise the reported £500,000 needed to see the club through to the start of the new season.
The situation at the two Lithuanian companies which hold large stakes in the club has also increased fears for the future of the Edinburgh club.
Majority shareholder UBIG - which owns a 50 per cent stake in the club - and 29.9 per cent shareholder Ukio Bankas were both once controlled by Vladimir Romanov but are now in the midst of being declared insolvent by Kaunas-based authorities.
Ukio Bankas - which lost an appeal against liquidation last Wednesday - is due £15million by Hearts, who also owe another #10million to UBIG.
Administrators for the investment firm are expected to be appointed at some stage this month.