HEARTS face further scrutiny over the state of their finances as reports suggest that four SPL clubs have written to league bosses amid suspicions that Tynecastle chiefs are masking their money problems in order to avoid relegation.
• Four SPL clubs have written to SPL to seek clarification over Hearts’ financial situation
• Clubs believe Hearts are stalling on announcing administration to avoid relegation to First Division
SPL chiefs have been asked to provide ‘clarification’ on Hearts’ immediate future after the collapse of Vladimir Romanov’s Ukio Bankas empire.
The bank went under after it was saddled with debts of around £380 million, but an appeal has since been launched against its bankruptcy.
Hearts owe Ukio Bankas about £15 million, an amount which, if administrators for the bank called it in, would in turn spell administration for the club, and thus automatic relegation from the SPL. The club also owes a further £10 million.
Rival SPL clubs suspect that Hearts are delaying an announcement on their administration in order to avoid relegation from Scotland’s top flight.
If Hearts were to declare themselves insolvent before the end of the season on May 20, the club would be relegated to the First Division by way of a 17-point deduction that would automatically place them below Dundee.
If UBIG, the holding company that owns Hearts, were to fold, then it would trigger an internal investigation by SPL chiefs Iain Blair and Neil Doncaster.