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Volume 10 No. 25


The administrator in charge of Ukio Bankas has told Scottish Premier League Heart of Midlothian administrators BDO that "three bids lodged for the club are unacceptable, and warned the club would be liquidated unless the offers are improved," according to Andy Newport of the SCOTSMAN. The Lithuanian bank is owed £15M ($23M) by Hearts, but its administrator Gintaras Adomonis "has issued the grave threat to BDO, the trouble-shooters now running the Edinburgh club after they were also placed into administration." Adomonis has now told BDO "to continue negotiation with fans’ group the Foundation of Hearts and Five Stars Football Ltd., which lists controversial former Livingston Owner Angelo Massone among its directors." A third offer placed by HMFC Ltd. "has been rejected outright." If the negotiations fail, Ukio Bankas "will initiate the process of liquidating Hearts" (SCOTSMAN, 7/29).

BAD TIMING: The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported the news "will cause panic, not only at the club, but among the ranks of the new Scottish Professional Football League" -- with the start of the new season just days away. Adomonis said, "I can repeat that we are doing everything we can to save the club functioning. However, I am obliged to protect solely the interests of Ukio bankas and its creditors" (DAILY RECORD, 7/29). The PA reported Ukio Bankas holds a 29.9% shareholding in Hearts and "has a floating charge on Tynecastle as security against the money it is owed." Meanwhile, Kaunas-based investment firm UBIG is owed a further £10M ($15.3M) by the club. It owns a 50% stake. Both companies "were once controlled by former Hearts Owner Vladimir Romanov but are now insolvent" (PA, 7/29).

National Rugby League Cronulla Sharks CEO Bruno Cullen "quit in disgust Monday night over the board's decision to reappoint trainer Mark Noakes, who has claimed that players were injected with peptides in 2011," according to Wilson, Massoud & Hooper of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. The club's board "overturned the decision of their predecessors" to sack Noakes in March, along with football Manager Darren Mooney, veteran doctor David Givney and physiotherapist Konrad Schultz. All four dismissed staff were also given a "full apology" Monday, with Givney and Schultz invited to reapply for their old jobs next season (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 7/30). The AAP reported Cullen "had been considering his role with the club but quickly made his move when the directors of the Sharks failed to consult him over the latest developments." Cullen "had been appointed by the NRL to run the Sharks in March" in the wake of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation, the club "having previously operated for some time without a CEO" (AAP, 7/29).

'BLOODY SHAMBLES': In Sydney, Stuart Honeysett reported former NRL Parramatta Dir Sid Kelly "has claimed the club's board is a 'bloody shambles' and the constant bickering behind the scenes has contributed to the team's woeful performances on the field this year." Kelly tendered his resignation Monday to Chair Steve Sharp "in a move which severely depletes the number of representatives from the football club." His move "could trigger another election" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/30).