HEARTS director Sergejus Fedotovas jetted into Edinburgh today to handle the financial crisis at Tynecastle first-hand, as fans began buying up thousands of match tickets and shares. Hearts are aiming to sell out next Saturday’s home game against St Mirren, which could generate up to £100,000 in extra revenue for the club.
A statement released yesterday warned that the St Mirren fixture could be Hearts’ last after Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs lodged a winding-up petition for £449,692.04 in unpaid tax. That issue is separate from the £1.75 million HMRC claims Hearts owe them in tax for players loaned from Lithuania. Club officials believe the £449,692.04 must be settled by next Friday unless a repayment plan can be agreed by both parties. If not, Hearts could be forced into liquidation.
Fedotovas flew in from Lithuania this morning as thousands of fans began rallying for the cause.
The club today reported a huge increase in tickets sold for the St Mirren match and in share packages bought by supporters inside a few hours yesterday afternoon.
That came on the back of a harrowing statement released by the board asking for “emergency backing” from fans. If Hearts sell out Tynecastle on Saturday week, they can expect extra income of between £80,000-£100,000.
Should they manage to fill the stadium to capacity for matches against Celtic and Aberdeen in the coming weeks, they could raise around £250,000 in additional money.
HMRC will allow the St Mirren game to take place but are then likely to take whatever money is generated to go towards the outstanding tax.
In the meantime, Hearts are attempting to negotiate a payment plan and are hopeful HMRC will agree to give them time given income will arrive via matches and television revenue over the coming weeks.
Before then, players’ wages are due a week
tomorrow and senior officials at Tynecastle
do not expect to be able to pay salaries on
That would mean further sanctions from the Scottish Premier League, who only recently placed Hearts under a transfer embargo until December 23 as punishment for paying players late in October.