HEARTS look set to exit administration in the next fortnight as the first anniversary of their plunge into severe financial difficulty looms.
Administrators BDO are hopeful that the process will be signed off by an Edinburgh court within two weeks. Hearts, who were relegated to the Championship after failing to recover from the 15-point penalty they incurred for entering administration, are under a SPFL transfer embargo while they remain in an “insolvency event”.
Exiting administration will allow new head coach Robbie Neilson to start rebuilding the squad after prominent first-team players like Jamie MacDonald, Jamie Hamill, Dylan McGowan and, more recently, Ryan Stevenson left the club.
Hearts have already been linked with Dundee United midfielder Morgaro Gomis, St Mirren defender Darren McGregor and released Crystal Palace goalkeeper Neil Alexander. Assuming they exit administration before the new season starts, Hearts will begin their Championship promotion bid without a points penalty.
Self-made millionaire and Hearts season-ticket holder Ann Budge completed her £2.5 million takeover of the club on 9 May and the executive chairwoman will run the club for up to five years before handing it over to supporters’ group the Foundation of Hearts.
Hearts entered administration on 19 June last year with debts of £28.5m. Administrator Bryan Jackson was immediately forced to make 13 non-playing staff and four players redundant as he wrestled with the club’s finances.