GORDON McKie, the former chief executive of the Scottish Rugby Union, is heading a consortium to buy Hearts.
In an exclusive interview with Scotland on Sunday, McKie says his group consists of a handful of investors, most of them Scottish-born Hearts supporters, some based in London and others based in Edinburgh.
McKie has been working on a proposal since February, when he met former Hearts director, Sergejus Fedotovas to inform him of his group’s interest. On Thursday, McKie met the club’s administrator, Bryan Jackson of BDO, as well as Ian Murray MP, chairman of the Foundation of Hearts, who are also interested in bidding for Hearts.
“We’ve been on this for some time,” said McKie who was at the SRU for almost six years up to 2011 before going on to be chief executive of the Hong Kong Football Association for eight turbulent months.
“We’ve done a lot of diligence. Given my background in rugby and sport I know what I’m doing.
“We’re not a bunch of spivs. The people around me are reputable, credible and individually wealthy and have Hearts best interests at heart because most of them are Hearts supporters. I don’t know them all, but I know some of them. These guys keep good company. They are like-minded souls who haven’t enjoyed reading and hearing about what has happened at Tynecastle in recent times.
“They are not in it for the money. I know that sounds twee, but they’re not. I would hope that, in the next two or three weeks, we will have clarity as to the process. BDO will know then what level of interest they’ve got and, hopefully, they’ll have eyeballed people and they will know who is serious and who is not.”
McKie says his group is keen to embrace the Foundation of Hearts – he describes them as a “chunky audience” – and would discuss some degree of supporter ownership if his group was successful. He describes the Tynecastle faithful as “very tolerant” considering the grief they’ve suffered at the fag-end of the unlamented Vladimir Romanov era.
“This might die a death,” added McKie. “But, as far as we are concerned, we know what we think the club is worth and we are ready to move. Everybody is dismayed at what has happened and we want to be selected by BDO to start putting it right. They know where we stand and we’ll just have to wait and see as they work things through.”