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SBD Global/June 14, 2013/Franchises

Heart Of Midlothian Puts All Players Up For Sale To Ensure The Club's Survival

Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian said that it will have to sell its best players to ensure its "survival over the next couple of months," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. The club said in a statement on its website: "The club will consider offers for the players of the current squad, including the most promising talent in order for the most necessary and important payments to be made." Hearts, established in 1874, "are hoping that a new owner will come in if they can stablise operations over the lean summer months when the club has no matchday income to fall back on" (REUTERS, 6/13). The BBC reported Hearts Managing Dir David Southern said that "it is doubtful they will be able to pay players' wages that are due at the end of this week." Hearts need to raise a "significant six-figure sum" before the weekend. The club said that "the resulting uncertainty has led to the club's main source of revenue in the close season -- the sale of season tickets -- drying up, with around 6,500 being sold so far, leading to problems in paying debts" owed to U.K. tax authority HMRC (BBC, 6/13).

BLAME GAME: In Edinburgh, Barry Anderson reported the club Thursday blamed "hesitation and inaction" from supporters for the lack of funds despite the £1.1M generated from a share issue just six months ago. Season ticket sales remain below the 7,000 mark and Hearts "desperately need that number to increase." For now, even the best of their youth academy graduates like Jamie Walker and Jason Holt "are available for transfer in an effort to raise money and help the Edinburgh club survive" (SCOTSMAN, 6/13).
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