Locke: Hearts administration battle far from over

HEARTS manager Gary Locke has warned there will be no quick route out of administration despite a proposal being sent to creditors.

Hearts Manager Gary Locke prepares his team for the weekend match against Aberdeen. Picture: SNS

Administrators Bryan Jackson and Trevor Birch this week sent a £2.5million Company Voluntary Arrangement proposal to creditors ahead of a scheduled meeting on November 22.

But the Foundation of Hearts, the fans’ group which has preferred bidder status, need the approval of insolvent Lithuanian-based major shareholders and creditors Ukio Bankas and UBIG, and the latter is still not in the hands of an administrator.

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Locke said: “We have not been given a timescale at all. They are just trying to get things moving.

“We are very much in the same position we are in last week. I’m hoping it can all go through and, speaking to Bryan and Trevor, they are saying the same.

“But, knowing the situation in Lithuania, I know it will not be a quick process.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed that a CVA can be agreed but the timescale, nobody knows.”

Meanwhile, Locke has been pleased with the response of his young team after branding their second-half performance in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat by St Johnstone as “unacceptable”.

Locke, whose team bid to cut the 15-point gap at the foot of the Scottish Premiership when they face in-form Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Saturday, said: “They have responded great in training.

“I’ve never really had to give them a rollicking as such but I felt after the game at the weekend, when we went the goal down and you could see the heads dropping and we didn’t get the response we were looking for.

“I had a really good conversation with the players, something that I’ll just keep to myself, but they’ve responded really well in training.

“And the boys have been fantastic. We need to remember that they’re doing a job that’s a bit early for some of them.

“But it’s unfortunate the circumstances that we’re in and they have come in and done brilliantly.

“The criticism has been at a minimum. Everyone understands the situation, they know that these young lads have probably been punching above their weight.

“If we can just eradicate the mistakes and put in performances like the two games against Hibs and the game against Aberdeen, then we will not be a million miles away.”