Hearts US bid: Club ‘will have to quit Tynecastle’

Hearts may have to quit Tynecastle. Picture: SNS
Hearts may have to quit Tynecastle. Picture: SNS
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A RETIRED businessman leading the charge to buy Hearts said it was “almost inevitable” the club would have to quit Tynecastle.

Bob Jamieson has joined forces with an unnamed Edinburgh businessman and Jon Pritchett, CEO of American sports agency Club 9, to make the reported £5 million bid for the club’s shares.

The trio are understood to favour a move away from Tynecastle, with the main stand in particular need of substantial repair, and are looking to reignite old proposals to dismantle and rebuild sections of the ground.

The proposals could see the three newest stands, built in the 1990s, taken down and moved next to Murrayfield with a new main stand built to increase capacity.

New company HMFC Ltd, with Mr Jamieson currently the sole director, has been set up as “the vehicle” for the bid.

Peebles-based Mr Jamieson, who has a background in motorsports, told the Evening News: “If I have my chance I will still do whatever I can to remain at Tynecastle but I don’t think it’s likely because of the cost. I know fans would prefer to stay there but I think they understand.

“I’m a life-long Hearts supporter who has kept an interest in this club for some time.

“Hearts is a club with a great reputation, it is 140 years old and has the potential to attract a big customer base even around Edinburgh. Neutrals would come to Hearts because it is a nice venue and there would be space. They were always a glamour club for me and have a good reputation for doing things properly.”

Mr Jamieson was involved in previous offers to buy Hearts in 1999 and 2011.

Club 9 Sports has previously been involved in failed bids for clubs including Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday.

Administrators BDO have named Friday as the deadline for offers to buy Hearts with the united supporters group the Foundation of Hearts set to make an offer.

The Foundation has held informal talks with other interested parties including one fronted by former Scottish Rugby Union chief executive, Gordon McKie, although the alliance was quashed when the McKie group said it did not have the funds.

Around 5000 supporters have set up direct debits to help fund the club should a bid by the Foundation be successful.

William Morrin, 50, who is part of Save Our Hearts, said he was sceptical of the new bid.

He said: “The things I’ve heard about some of the names involved are not good. I’ve not heard anything positive about them at all and that they’ve been laughed out of places before. The last thing we need is for groups to be getting fans’ hopes up. One thing’s for sure about whoever comes in is we will not let this happen again.”