Hearts 'could seek SPFL interdict' says ex-chairman as he urges fans to fund legal challenge

The Capital lawyer was speaking on BBC Sportsound

Hearts could take legal action against the SPFL, according to former chairman Leslie Deans

Former Hearts chairman Les Deans has claimed the Tynecastle Park side could effectively prevent Scottish football from restarting if they go down a particular legal path.

The lawyer, who earlier this week claimed the Capital club had a “strong legal case” if they were ejected from the Scottish Premiership, was speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme during a discussion on the breakdown in talks over league reconstruction.

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Hearts could be relegated to the Scottish Championship as things stand and speaking to the Evening News before Friday’s decision, Deans said he felt there were “reasonable prospects of success” if the club sought damages from the SPFL, insisting: “Hearts are not being relegated, they're being ejected. A club can only be relegated once the league is completed. The league, as we know, has not been completed.”

'The Scottish equivalent of an injunction’

On Sportsound, Deans said another legal option for Hearts was seeking an interdict, which would effectively prevent football restarting in Scotland next season.

He explained: “As well as damages, which [Hearts owner] Ann Budge estimated at £3 million, Hearts could – in theory – seek an interdict, which is the Scottish equivalent of an injunction, to prevent football from being played if Hearts were excluded.

“My own view is that such an interdict is unlikely. I can't see a court granting it, but it could be part of a claim for damages in the same case.”

Deans, who served as Hearts chairman between 1994 and 1999, explained that the cost of a case could end up costing his former club as much as £500,000 but called on Hearts fans to raise funds – and he would contribute a four-figure sum to the cause.

Deans: I’ll contribute to legal fundraiser

He said: “There is a big financial loss to Hearts [from loss of income from home games and the Scottish Cup semi-final against Hibs] and the way to overcome it would be to start crowdfunding under the auspices of the Foundation of Hearts.

“There are 8,000 members. Guys, get together and get the money to the club. I will start the ball rolling with a four-figure donation. Others can do the same.

“If Hearts are successful, they can ask the court to award costs for the whole action.”

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