Hearts are hopeful that a payment plan can be agreed with Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue after fund-raising efforts by supporters have helped raise a substantial proportion of the club’s overdue tax bill of £450,000.
Fresh talks between Hearts and HMRC yesterday have offered what a Tynecastle source described as a “glimmer of hope” in the bid to ward off winding up order, received by the club last week.
Over £200,000 has been raised by supporters and well-wishers since the club published a statements on the website last week calling for “emergency backing” from the fans.
An auction and raffle event, including items such as Marius Zaliukas’ Scottish Cup final shirt, has been organised at Tynecastle stadium today, while Hearts are also encouraging supporters to attend tonight’s Under 20s game against Motherwell, where the entry is via a donation made to the club. Talks are still on-going, but Hearts hope such efforts will be taken into account by HMRC. The club have proposed a payment plan which would see a significant portion of the outstanding tax bill paid by the close of play on Thursday. They are understood to have underlined the threat to jobs if the club is placed in liquidation.
Former Hearts players are joining the fight to stave off the club’s liquidation, with Gary Mackay and Scott Crabbe yesterday launching the ‘1874 Fighting Fund’, with all monies raised being held as emergency backing for the club – either now or in the future.
Mackay said the fund should not be seen as “working against the club” but admitted it may be a more appealing option for fans who harbour any doubts about donating straight to Hearts.
He said: “A lot of people don’t know what to do in terms of backing the club financially. We are not working against the club in any way, shape or form.”