Edinburgh football club Hearts of have put their entire squad up for sale as they reveal that owe tens of millions in debts.
Yet another Scottish football club has fallen into financial peril as Heart’s parent company UBIG faces insolvency, to whom they owe an amount upwards of £20 million. The club also owes the bankrupt Ukios Bankas a further £15 million.
Whilst Hearts have been given assurances from the administrators handling Ukios liquidation that they want to keep the club running, the uncertainty has caused problem in raising funds and in paying debts to the revenue office.
A club statement read: “It is now crucial to the football club that we find a solution to bring in enough finance to allow us to trade into the new season when normal trading can resume with the benefit of SPL and game-related income streams.
“The payments to HMRC and players/staff salaries are the most important issues in our focus these days where very limited time remains available to the club.
“However, given that the revenues for season tickets has dried up and no other realistic income is available quickly enough, the club will consider offers for the players of the current squad, including the most promising talent in order for the most necessary and important payments to be made.
“Due to recent unexpected circumstances away from Tynecastle, the club is now experiencing a shortfall in funding.
“This shortfall, due to recent uncertainty, has created a significant noticeable blockage in projected revenue streams for the club.
“While this hesitation is understandable, it is unwittingly damaging the club’s current efforts to improve its financial situation, including current payments to HMRC and raising doubts over future payments to players and staff.
“The board had planned to bring income in through the sale of players while considering the financial forecast for next season, but now this will need to happen much earlier in order to preserve the business.”
This news comes as a further blow to Scottish football following Rangers’ financial troubles and subsequent demotion through the divisions. Along with serious financial concerns, the majority of clubs have been calling for a major restructuring of the current league set up and the issue of Celtic’s strangle hold on the SPL must be addressed.
The Scottish FA has serious work to do in order to keep the SPL a viable competitive competition.