Move can 'help Hearts compete'

THE Hearts board believe building a brand new stadium away from Tynecastle would enable the club to challenge the Old Firm on a regular basis.

Lithuanian director Vitalijus Vasiliauskas admitted today that finances are behind the proposal, which has been put to supporters before a final decision is taken.

Hearts feel it would be more financially viable to construct a new stadium costing upwards of 30?million rather than redevelop the current main stand at Tynecastle at a cost of around 20m.

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Moving would ensure a capacity stadium of 25,000-30,000 seats and offer a greater chance of keeping pace with Rangers and Celtic long-term. "Finances are probably the main reason why we're trying to get a new approach for this development," said Vasiliauskas. "We think we're big enough to have a bigger stadium and we have to present ourselves as a competitor to the Old Firm

"We can't survive if we do not develop and we believe we can attract much bigger crowds if we have a bigger capacity.

"If we move the new ground must be very close to Tynecastle. It will probably be walking distance from Tynecastle. We're not looking for a ground far, far away.

"This is probably the biggest challenge for us to find a place like this. It can be a decision-making time this summer. Are we staying or are we leaving?"