Hearts make Kye Rowles transfer admission, Europe profit revealed and latest on Celtic and Rangers target
The 24-year-old played in all four of Australia’s World Cup games, impressing alongside Harry Souttar in the centre of defence. At the Hearts AGM, sporting director Joe Savage admitted the club had heard of interest in the player but the expectation is for him to remain at Tynecastle Park for the remainder of the season. The club will only deal with the situation when a bid is submitted.
“We’ll be very difficult to deal with, I imagine,” Savage said. “I can see Kye wanting to stay, to see out the season with us and try and help us achieve our goals. We won’t welcome bids but if anyone does come for him they will have to pay top dollar to get him out. He’s a top player who has played at a World Cup now. He’s our player and teams need to realise that.”
It was a point reiterated by chief executive Andrew McKinlay, who revealed there would be money available to make the squad stronger in the January transfer window.
"I’m very positive we will come out of this window better,” he said. On the expected bids, unlike other teams, we don't welcome bids. You might have seen other teams recently talking up their players. It’s fair to say someone who has played four games in a World Cup, every minute of those four games, is not going to leave here cheaply.”
Savage also noted that the academy continues to play a key part in the club’s development with the belief there are players with the potential to make the step into the first-team. He appeared to address speculation surrounding teenager James Wilson, who has been linked with Celtic, Rangers and Manchester United.
“The academy players have done really, really well,” he said. “We are trying to tie them down to new contracts. It is probably well documented there is one who has been in the press that quite a lot of clubs are interested in. We are doing our best to make sure he sees the pathway is here and he can break into the first-team
Meanwhile, it was revealed European involvement brought in an estimated £5million to the club, with an expected profit of £3million. The club have budgeted for an income in excess of £20million for 2022/23, excluding donations.
“We generated in excess of £5m of revenue,” Jacqui Duncan, Hearts’ finance director, said of European football. “There is still some money to come in so still a bit to count. We will probably be looking at a profit around the £3m mark from Europe. There were travel costs, the cost of enhancing the squad to cope with European and domestic matches, and the UEFA regulations. Because we were determined to play the matches at Tynecastle, we probably spent close to £500,000 to get the stadium ready. UEFA didn’t come cheap.”
As well as an increase in wages, money was spent on floodlights, media facilities and astroturf around the pitch to bring Tynecastle Park up to UEFA standards. McKinlay added: “Hopefully a lot of those are one-off costs so, in future, hopefully we will see greater profit.”
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