Leader: ‘One certainty is that Hearts will not die’

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THE financial storm brewing over Tynecastle is nothing new to Edinburgh football fans.

Hibs supporters will understand the uncertainty better than most, having seen their own club teeter on the verge of extinction in the not too distant past.

It is clear that the bankruptcy of Ukio Bankas is highly unlikely to have any immediate impact on Hearts, but the exact shape of their future beyond the next few weeks remains as clear as mud.

A glorious fans buy-out at a bargain basement price and the enforced sale of Tynecastle are both realistic possibilities.

One thing that is certain amid all the turmoil is that Hearts will not die.

The overwhelming reaction of supporters since the owners warned that the future of the club was at risk proves that beyond doubt.

There is a tremendous goodwill to the Jam Tarts from across the Capital and far beyond.

Some of those supporters have deep pockets, others don’t, but many thousands of them share a determination to ensure that the club survives, to inspire and frustrate another generation of Jambos.

It will take time to sort out the financial mess which successive owners of the club have created. A debt of around £25 million cannot be cleared without a good deal of pain one way or another.

What Hearts desperately need is to restore a sense of balance. They need to become an institution once again that can stand on its own two feet, rather than having to rely on the continuing goodwill of a rich benefactor.

The ideal scenario would be a fan takeover which would place control of the club in the hands of its members.

That may seem like a dream, but ongoing events in Lithuania might just bring that possibility into reach.

We wish Ian Murray MP and Hearts fans everywhere the very best of luck in trying to make that happen.