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Volume 6 No. 216


The Scottish government has pledged to help Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian FC survive as the club "teeters on the brink of going out of business over an unpaid tax bill" of almost £500,000 ($799,000), according to Martin Williams of the HERALD SCOTLAND. Saturday's game might be the 138-year-old club's last after Owner Vladimir Romanov admitted that Hearts faces "a winding-up order" about £450,000 ($719,000) due to U.K. tax authority HMRC. A government spokesperson said: "The Scottish government stands ready to assist in any way it can, including making contact with HMRC if necessary. It is in everyone's interests to find a solution which ensures Hearts can continue in business while also meeting their obligations to the tax authorities" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 11/8).

HEARTS "CAN BE SAVED": REUTERS' Keith Weir reported that Hearts Dir Sergejus Fedotovas said that the club "can be saved." Fedotovas: "I don't believe that this is the end of Hearts. I am confident a solution will be found." The club is "urging fans to support a share issue" that aims to raise £1.8M ($2.9M) and to ensure the club's Tynecastle stadium is sold out for upcoming games (REUTERS, 11/8). The SCOTSMAN reported former Hearts Chair Leslie Deans "believes fans should put aside any recriminations over their desperate financial situation and focus on saving the club." Deans told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland program: “The financial situations shouldn’t have been allowed to get as bad as it has. Hearts were effectively living beyond their means." He added: "A new buyer would be desirable, highly desirable. Vladimir Romanov made it clear that he wanted out and would be happy to sell his shares, whether that be one individual, whether that be a consortium, whether that be a fans group, remains to be seen. But I think inevitably a new buyer will emerge (SCOTSMAN, 11/8).

A scheme to give fans of Scottish Third Division club Rangers a share of their club "has been launched" Thursday by supporters, according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The Buy Rangers campaign "was announced at Ibrox Stadium by the Rangers Supporters Trust with the backing of Supporters Direct Scotland, an organisation funded by the Scottish Government." The aim of the initiative "is for the trust to buy a shareholding of the club." An outline of the Buy Rangers campaign was presented by Rangers Supporters Trust board member Andy Sheppard. He said supporters were taken for granted in the past and had "no voice and no input." He also said that "the new scheme intends to reunite the club with its supporters." Supporters Direct already works with 40 clubs in the U.K. including four Scottish football clubs: Stirling Albion, Dundee, Stenhousemuir and Clyde. (DAILY RECORD, 11/8).

FANS TAKING CONTROL: In Glasgow, Richard Wilson noted that "the Trust scheme is designed to allow supporters to have an influence on how the club is run, since a large collective, holding a significant shareholding, will have more say than a single fan with a single share." The Buy Rangers campaign "will also begin at £125 ($200), and fans can invest up to £20,000 ($31,950)." They "will be buying a share in the RST," which functions as a Community Benefit Society and is authorized by the Financial Services Authority. RST Chair Gordon Dinnie said, "This is a great opportunity for fans to invest together and have a meaningful say in the future of our club. The more money invested, the stronger our collective voice" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 11/8).