Hearts administrator Bryan Jackson was last night still seeking confirmation from Lithuania over whether the club’s latest administration obstacle had been cleared.
The decision by Ubigs creditors to hand over the 50 per cent shareholding in the club for a token fee of around £70,000 on 7 April was subject to a 20-day cooling off period. That appeal window was due to expire on Sunday but Jackson was still aware that creditors could feasibly have submitted an objection to the deal in a Lithuanian court yesterday.
Jackson is believed to have sent e-mails to his counterparts in the Baltic state in a bid to get clarity on the issue but was still awaiting a response yesterday.
Prospective Hearts owner Ann Budge, who is personally financing the Foundation of Hearts’ £2.5 million takeover of the club, told supporters in an open letter last weekend that the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) could not be completed until the 20-day cooling off period had lapsed. Jackson secured Tynecastle stadium and Ukio Bankas’s crucial 29.9 per cent stake in Hearts on 16 April, although that decision does not hinge on a 20-day cooling-off period.
Budge cannot start planning for next season until she has completed the SPA and been handed control by Jackson. Due to red tape, Hearts are unlikely to officially exit administration until the close-season.
Meanwhile, Hearts manager Gary Locke was delighted with Callum Paterson’s scoring exploits in Sunday’s derby win over Hibs – but says the player now sees himself as a right-back.
Paterson was asked to play out of position in attack during the early stages of the campaign after the club’s plunge into administration had left Locke without a recognised forward. Even in his more natural full-back berth, the 19-year-old was a threat in the box in the 2-1 derby win – twice heading in from set-pieces in the first half, taking his tally for the season to nine.
Fellow youngster Dale Carrick’s emergence as a striker capable of leading the line has allowed Locke to deploy Paterson in a defensive position and the Tynecastle manager is grateful for the teenager’s versatility. Locke said: “Callum has been great. He came through the youth system and he played every position possible apart from goalkeeper. He is really aggressive in the air and that’s something we work hard on at training. Set-pieces are a big part of the game and we had two great deliveries and two great goals.”
BT Sport Q&A: Rangers | Hibs | Neil Lennon
THIS week’s BT Sport video Q&A looks at whether Rangers fans will buy season tickets and if the club’s supporters will force a change of ownership.
The form of Hibs under Terry Butcher is also examined following the Easter Road side’s derby defeat while the future of Neil Lennon is also considered following the announcement that his assistant Johan Mjallby is to depart at the end of the season.
• Email your Scottish football question for the BT Sport panel to answer. The next show will be recorded on May 7 after St Johnstone v Celtic with the video available on The Scotsman website the following day. You can also tweet us @TheScotsman.
A line-up of experts will handle your questions after each BT Sport game. Most match days, the team includes Darrell Currie, Derek Rae and Gary McAllister.
Over this season, BT Sport will air 30 SPFL matches plus 10 Rangers games from the SPFL League One.
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