Scottish Football - MP concerned about Hearts ownership

The MP leading a fan-backed bid to buy Hearts claims the lingering uncertainty over the club's Lithuanian owners could hamper their rescue efforts.

PA Sport
Scottish Football - MP concerned about Hearts ownership

View photo

The troubled Edinburgh club were placed under a transfer embargo on Thursday

The cash-strapped Tynecastle outfit have been hit with an immediate transfer embargo by the Scottish Premier League after admitting they could not afford to pay their players.

The news came just 24 hours after the Gorgie board released a statement saying they had entered a "critical" stage in their battle to pay off debts of £25million as well as financing tax and running costs.

The entire Jambos squad was put up for sale in a desperate bid to raise the reported £500,000 needed to see the club through to the start of the new season.

Politician Ian Murray is leading the Foundation of Hearts supporters group who hope to buy the club. But the Labour man admits that the current situation at UBIG - which owns a 50 per cent stake in the club - and 29.9 per cent shareholder Ukio Bankas has "muddied the waters".

Both firms were formally controlled by club Vladimir Romanov but are now in the midst of being declared insolvent by Kaunas-based authorities.

Ukio Bankas -which lost an appeal against liquidation on Wednesday - is due £15m by Hearts, who also owe another £10m to UBIG.

Murray said: "Let's be clear about who owns the club at the moment - it has absolutely nothing to do with Mr Romanov.

"UBIG has had all its assets frozen and has told the Lithuanian government it can't meet its liabilities. So they will be controlled by a third party shortly. And Ukio Bankas is now in the hands of a Lithuanian administrator. So the decision on the sale of the club is no longer in Mr Romanov's hands.

"I'm in a constant dialogue with the Ukio Bankas administrator but there has been no formal appointment for UBIG. That only muddies the water. Any deal we can do with the Ukio Bankas administrator has to be on the condition that we take control of the club. But the controlling stake lies with UBIG, and the ownership of that company is still in flux."

View comments (5)