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SBD Global/June 19, 2013/Franchises

Heart Of Midlothian Enters Administration, Will Begin Season With 15-Point Penalty

Hearts will begin next season with a minimum 15-point penalty.
Scottish Premier League Heart of Midlothian "will begin next season with at least a 15-point penalty" after the company that owns the club, Heart of Midlothian Football Club plc, "applied to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to voluntarily put itself into administration," according to Richard Wilson of the HERALD SCOTLAND. Once that request is formally granted, "it is expected that the accountancy firm KPMG will be appointed." While the move by the HMFC plc directors "was unexpected, it was inevitable that the company would go into administration in the near future." A dramatic fall in season-ticket sales "contributed to a severe cashflow problem" that resulted in the wage bill not being paid in full last Friday, and only half of a £104,000 ($163,000) tax bill being met (HERALD SCOTLAND, 6/18). In Edinburgh, Allan Mackie reported Lithuanian bank Ukio Bankas "has approached insolvency experts BDO to become Hearts’ administrators." BDO -- the firm currently battling to save Dunfermline -- "is the preferred choice of Kanuas-based Ukio Bankas," which owns 29.9% of Hearts and is owed £15M ($23.4M) by the club. It also "holds a claim against Tynecastle as security on the debt" (SCOTSMAN, 6/18).

FACING EVICTION: In Glasgow, Keith Jackson reported Hearts "fear they could be evicted from Tynecastle by Lithuanians if they lose a courtroom battle to appoint their own administrators." Around 130 people "are now fearing for their livelihoods and bracing themselves for a savage round of redundancies." However, another "potentially devastating twist" emerged Monday night when it became clear Ukio Bankas will "attempt to block KPMG’s appointment." The Lithuanian firm's "aggressive move to stop KPMG from taking control has sparked fears of an attempted grab on the ground which has been home to Hearts for the last 127 years" (DAILY RECORD, 6/18).  Also in Glasgow, David McCarthy reported Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray "entrusted with the job of trying to orchestrate a supporters’ buyout that will allow his club to rise from the rubble of the Romanov regime, managed to divorce personal feelings from the job in hand." That "is to make sure his organisation is sitting at KPMG’s table as soon as possible to try to thrash out a deal for fan ownership at Tynecastle." The administrators "may have other offers to consider and Murray is a realist." KPMG "will sell the club to the people who can guarantee the best deal for creditors." Murray is "determined to ensure even if the Foundation does not end up in control of their beloved club, they will be in a position to work with those who take over" (DAILY RECORD, 6/18).
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