Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian said that it requires an immediate upturn in season ticket sales if it is "to make it through the latest cash crisis unharmed," according to Moira Gordon of the SCOTSMAN. The Tynecastle club has "again incurred the ire" of U.K. tax authority HMRC due to an outstanding bill of £100,000 ($154,000). The PAYE settlement had been due on Monday and the club now has "a week to raise the necessary finance or be served with a winding up order." It is not the first time the club "has been threatened with such action and it was only through fan donations and a successful share issue" that it was able to pay off a £450,000 tax bill at the end of last year. The club also had to draw up a repayment plan with the tax man regarding another £1.5M bill. This latest delay "will test the patience of HMRC," but the club believes that a solution can be found (SCOTSMAN, 6/5). In Edinburgh, Diane King reported Edinburgh South Labour MP Ian Murray believes that "the route out of the mess relies on fan support for the umbrella group, which includes Foundation of Hearts, the Supporters’ Trust and Shareholders’ Association," which have banded together to pursue a takeover. He said, "We are pressing ahead with our plans. We’ve made significant progress in the last couple of weeks but obviously we would like to get things moving quicker. There’s speculation upon speculation upon speculation surrounding the future of the club, but at the moment it’s just that" (SCOTSMAN, 6/5).
Player Manager Craig Kelly has placed Australian Football League side Essendon Bombers on notice, "seeking assurances from the club that none of his contracted clients will be liable for any financial penalties" as a result of the AFL and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation, according to Caroline Wilson of THE AGE. Kelly's Elite Sports Properties "is one of a number of player agent groups looking to ensure the Bombers guarantee players a safe workplace in the future." Kelly said, "If a player is penalised or fined for something he has unknowingly or inadvertently done then we would be arguing that the club should be paying that fine." ESP manages eight Essendon players "including the out-of-contract Tom Bellchambers and Alex Browne." A number of other Bombers' contracts remain on hold, "including those of Cale Hooker and Stewart Crameri" (THE AGE, 6/6).
Indonesian billionaire Erick Thohir, "touted to take over FC Internazionale from Massimo Moratti," was reluctant to comment on the negotiations -- but did let drop the process would probably be completed "within 1-2 months" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 6/5). ... Caterham F1 Team has launched Caterham Racing Academy, a driver development program that gives a clear route to F1 for future champions, and enables young motorsport talent from around the world to achieve success in 21st century motorsport (Caterham F1). ... La Liga side Atlético Madrid will not increase its season ticket prices for '13-14. The decision is "an effort to understand the financial difficulties of its fans during the current economic crisis." The prices range from €325-€1,000 ($425-$1,300) depending on the location of the seats (AS, 6/5).