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SBD Global/June 17, 2013/Franchises

Scottish Premier League Side Heart Of Midlothian May Face Administration In 10 Days

Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian "could plunge into administration" within the next 10 days, according to Moira Gordon of the SCOTSMAN. With money still due to British tax authority HMRC and none of the players receiving their June wages, employees believe the tipping point will be June 24, "when non-playing staff are due to be paid." According to a club source, the money is just not there, and unless a wealthy benefactor materializes soon, "administration appears inevitable." A source said, "So unless someone comes in with £500,000 ($785,200) then I don't see any way we can pay the staff, and if we can't then I don't see any way we can avoid going into administration" (SCOTSMAN, 6/16). The BBC's Brian McLauchlin wrote "at least six interested parties are considering a potential takeover of Hearts." Three potential bidders are based in North America, another in Scandinavia and there are two U.K.-based groups, "including the Foundation of Hearts." However, as things stand, "no buyer is able to buy the controlling stake in the club as the majority of club shares are split between two companies" (BBC, 6/15).

HEARTS 'WORTHLESS': The BBC reported MP Ian Murray, who is leading a fan-backed bid to buy Hearts, claims the cash-strapped club is virtually "worthless." Murray said that "insolvency facing the club's owners" could work in his group's favor in trying to buy Hearts. Murray: "From a hard-nosed business outlook, the club only has value in terms of its history, its share in the SPL and the assets that it holds. Given Thursday's statement and the club accounts, it's quite clear there is an on-going annual funding gap at the club that is quite substantial. That obviously has an effect on what the club is worth and I would go as far to ask whether the club is worth anything?" (BBC, 6/15).

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