Hearts administration: Owners must put club first

Gary Locke insists ensuring the survival and future prosperity of Hearts is the only criterion he is looking for in any potential new owner of the Tynecastle club.

Gary Locke: Wants new owners to have club at heart. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

• Gary Locke has said that Hearts’ new owners must have the club’s survival and future prosperity at the forefront of their minds

• Fans’ group Foundation of Hearts is expected to make a bid, but rival bid from Club 9 Sports less certain

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Tomorrow is the deadline for offers to buy the Gorgie club who, being £25million in debt, entered administration last month and were both handed a 15-point deduction and put under a registration embargo.

The supporters group, Foundation of Hearts, has confirmed it will submit a bid.

Edinburgh businessman Bob Jamieson, along with USA-based company Club 9 Sports, will also reportedly table a bid although it was reported by www.stv.tv this morning that a consortium of Norwegian and Swedish businessmen has decided it would be “inappropriate” to bid against a fan-led takeover attempt.

The Gorgie manager, however, is more interested in the business plan than the nationality of any bidders.

Locke said: “I don’t have a preferred bidder. I just want someone to come in and first and foremost have the club at heart and run it like it should be run and if I get that I will be more than happy.

“Whoever comes in, we are just looking for Hearts to get back to where they should be, being a top club in Scotland and trying to get into Europe and challenging for cups.

“We don’t want to see ourselves in this position again.”

The former Jambos skipper, however, does not expect a quick resolution to the crisis.

He said: “It would be great for us all but speaking to (administrators) Trevor (Birch) and Bryan (Jackson), I don’t think it will be done overnight.

“I think it is a bit of a drawn out process but obviously for myself it would be great if it was done quickly and I had an opportunity to bring in a couple of players before the (transfer) window shuts.

“But if that is not the case, we have to get on with the players we have and do our best.”