FOUNDATION Of Hearts chairman Ian Murray has urged administrators BDO to remain focused on their primary task – taking the club out of administration.
In a statement released yesterday, the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South said he understood supporters’ frustrations, and thanked them for their continued backing.
The statement is a measured reaction to events of the past week, in which Hearts have announced assistant manager Billy Brown is to leave and Bryan Jackson of BDO has engaged in lengthy discussions about a possible relaxation of the club’s signing ban. But, privately, leading members of the Foundation believe that Jackson could be acting with more urgency – and by announcing the appointment of legal advisors and accountants, the Foundation have made it clear that they are ready to complete their takeover as soon as BDO can reach agreement with Ubig on the purchase of the Lithuanian company’s 50 per cent shareholding in Hearts.
“The start of a new year brings optimism to Heart of Midlothian but, at the same time, there is a reminder for all of us in events this week that there is much to be done before supporters can see our club exit administration and begin to build for the future,” Murray said in the statement. “It is critically important that all eyes remain on the prize, securing Hearts’ survival, and so I strongly encourage everyone involved in this process to remain highly focused. Some of the discussion of the last fortnight about the manager, his assistant, and player registrations are understandable, but we must remember why we are all here.
“To that end, the Foundation is pleased to have appointed Dundas & Wilson as its legal advisors. We are also delighted that Scott-Moncrieff will be the Foundation’s nominated corporate financial advisors and accountants.”
More than 7,600 supporters have signed up to fund the Foundation with direct debits. This month’s collection rate was again at 99 per cent.
Meanwhile, former Hearts winger Andrew Driver has returned to Scotland after failing to land a deal with English Championship side Yeovil. The 26-year-old, who has been linked with a move back to Tynecastle after the club were told they might be able to sign players on a one-out, one-in basis, has been a free agent since his deal with MLS side Houston expired in November.
Yeovil manager Gary Johnson was aware of Driver after his son Lee played with the England Under-21 cap for Hearts. But Johnson admits Driver’s match fitness was a concern.
Johnson said: “Andy’s gone back to his home in Edinburgh. We had a look for a couple of days, he hadn’t played since November in America and we didn’t feel he would be able to help us this side of this season.”