HEARTS insiders say the club could plunge into administration within the next ten days.
With money still due to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs and none of the players receiving their June wages, employees believe the tipping point will be 24 June, when non-playing staff are due to be paid.
The money is just not there and unless a wealthy benefactor materialises soon, administration appears inevitable, according to a club source.
“I can no longer see any other route. Everybody has done everything they can and turned over every rock and found any money we can but it’s still not enough and there comes a time when directors have to act because they have a legal responsibility and cannot incur any further debt.
“So unless someone comes in with £500,000 then I don’t see any way we can pay the staff and if we can’t then I don’t see any way we can avoid going into administration.”
The staff are almost resigned to that now and there is a sense that at least any ambiguity will be erased and the picture can be progressed. “At that point, a line can be drawn and the whole gameplan changes.
“In theory the administrator will have a free rein but in truth a lot of the hard work has already been done and the administrator will find quite a lean club in terms of operating staff.”
In total the club has 150 employees, with a playing squad of 26, already tight given U20 and SPL obligations. The club has already been hit with a signing embargo due to the non-payment of players’ wages and that punishment could be made more permanent when the SPL board meet to discuss the Tynecastle club’s latest breach of rules.
The SPL could increase the punishment to include a points deduction but it is hoped that the real threat of administration, which would in itself trigger an automatic 15-point deduction, will deter them from applying it.