Sergejus Fedotovas says fans can still have a role in Hearts’ future
HEARTS director Sergejus Fedotovas has insisted that fans could still play a role in the future of the club. However, rather than deal directly with Foundation of Hearts (FoH), the group which has united most fans’ organisations, Fedotovas said that Tynecastle officials would continue to work with Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS), the umbrella organisation for supporters’ trusts.
“We have a responsibility to protect the business and ensure that we give Hearts the best prospects for the future, even once the club has been sold,” Fedotovas said on the Hearts website.” Our aim is to secure a solid and stable future for the club and we do believe that the supporters should play an integral part in this process.
“We must, however, not allow emotion to cloud sound business sense as our decision on who the club should be passed over to is a very important one when we are dealing with an institution as prestigious as this. Supporters can be assured that we will not rush this decision and we will maintain our positive communications with Supporters Direct, who have been integral in the overall discussions regarding possible supporter-control models.”
Paul Goodwin, the head of SDS, agreed that talks with Hearts had gone well. “The meeting with Sergejus Fedotovas was productive and we agreed that the community ownership model was still an option that would be considered alongside any other offers that the club might attract,” he said.
“With that in mind we agreed to embark on a series of planning meetings over the coming weeks, working to see if a viable plan could be presented before the end of the season. The first of these meetings is scheduled for later this week.”
Vladimir Romanov has already rejected an offer from former Livingston owner Angelo Massone, but if he were to receive a larger offer from another source he would be less inclined to dismiss it out of hand.
For the time being at least, FoH is not in a position to make any such offer, as it continues its strategy of accumulating financial “pledges” from individual fans designed to determine a future budget for the club under supporters’ ownership.
FoH chairman Alex Mackie said yesterday that the difficulties faced by Ukio Bankas, which has been placed into temporary administration, could put pressure on Romanov to sell up sooner rather than later. “Sergejus is now in a difficult position as a result of Ukio Bankas falling into administration,” he said. “We understand now that the administrator [of Ukio] will have a big say in the future of Hearts.”
Although Romanov has a controlling interest in Ukio Bankas, the actual owner of the football club is Ukio Bankas Investment Group (Ubig), a separate entity.
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