FORMER Hearts captain Dave McPherson has advised supporters of the crisis-torn club not to provide it with any further financial assistance until a change of ownership takes place.
Hearts are understood to need around £500,000 within the next week or so in order to avoid going into administration, but McPherson believes that an insolvency event is now the preferred option for the club in order to extricate it from the ruinous regime of Vladimir Romanov and the financial collapse of Lithuanian parent company UBIG.
When Hearts revealed the scale of their financial problems last Thursday, they pleaded with supporters for further financial backing after season ticket sales were 20 per cent below their projections, but McPherson insists it is now futile for fans to dig into their pockets again.
“There is no point in Hearts supporters putting any more money in now,” said McPherson. “Not until the club goes into administration and we see exactly where we stand.
“The supporters have been brilliant, they came out in numbers all last season, which was a pretty grim season, remember, because everybody knew what was going to happen. So all credit to them.
“But there is no point putting money in at the moment. I would wait and see what happens and I think that will bring it to a head. If that means administration, we’ll see what happens.
“I think that’s what they need – to know who they are dealing with. They can then start getting an offer together, get rid of the previous owners and look forward. They need to get football-minded people in, people who have a love for the game and a bit of passion for the club. There are a lot of people like that out there willing to help out.”
Former Scotland defender McPherson, who made 363 first team appearances for Hearts over two spells at the club, is deeply saddened by the current state of affairs in Gorgie, but not surprised.
“It’s tragic, just tragic,” he added. “It’s been on the cards for a number of years, but thankfully it is now coming to a head. I just hope something happens sooner rather than later. If that means administration, we can start afresh, get some buyers in and start looking forward.
“I just wish it would come to a close now, for the supporters’ sake, so they could start looking forward to the beginning of the season positively, rather than negatively.”
McPherson was speaking at Saughton Enclosure where he turned out for a Rangers-Celtic select side in the annual memorial match for former Falkirk youngster Craig Gowans.
The 49-year-old admits he struggles to come to terms with the financial calamities which have affected both Rangers and Hearts, but believes the fan base of both clubs will ensure they always survive.
“I would never have imagined this would happen to both my former clubs, Hearts and Rangers,” added McPherson. “It’s not just tragic for Rangers and Hearts, it’s tragic for Scottish football. I think people recognise that.
“Dunfermline are in administration, there are a lot of teams in the Premier League struggling as well. This is not a good time for Scottish football. Even with the national team, they maybe got a good result recently, but it’s been pretty grim for a while.
While the future of Tynecastle remains open to debate, McPherson added: “I’ve no doubt that, when it does get sorted out one way or another at Hearts, they’ll have a full house for the first game.
“Just like the Rangers fans, they are not going to let their club die. There will always be a club there in some shape or form. Even if the worst happened and they had to go down the liquidation route, they would come back.
“I’ve no doubt the fans would turn out in even greater numbers. Rangers fans have shown that. It might take time to sort things out, but, ultimately, it might be to the benefit of Scottish football in the long term.”