Anxious wait for Hearts

Hearts face an anxious wait over the weekend before the Scottish Premier League board meets on Monday.

Last Updated: 18/05/13 at 14:12 Post Comment

Hearts: Facing anxious wait

Hearts: Facing anxious wait

Hearts face an anxious wait over the weekend before the Scottish Premier League board meets on Monday to determine whether the club should be sanctioned over the apparent financial collapse of their majority shareholder, UBIG.

The club could still receive an 18-point deduction - and instant relegation - if it is decided that SPL rules have been breached by UBIG's declaration of insolvency.

UBIG was on Thursday listed on a Lithuanian government website of insolvent firms after reportedly declaring itself unable to meet its liabilities.

The firm owns about four-fifths of shares in Hearts and SPL rules can lead to points deductions if an owner suffers an insolvency event.

The SPL has been consulting with its lawyers over its rules and whether UBIG's action breaches them.

The league has made no comment but it is understood the timing of events will be crucial - if the developments of the last few days are deemed to be an insolvency event which breaks the SPL rules, then the punishment will be a points deduction this season.

However, court action is needed to trigger an insolvency event in Scotland and the lack of news about any court proceedings in Lithuania could work in Hearts' favour.

The relationship between UBIG and Hearts will also come into consideration. The club will argue that they have been self-sufficient since early last year so have not benefited from the funding of an insolvent company this season. However, they owe UBIG about £10million of their £25million debt.

The cost-cutting measures continued at Tynecastle this week when 19-year-old right-back Fraser Mullen was told he would not be offered a new contract in the summer despite making eight appearances this season before a broken foot ended his season in March.

But Hearts midfielder Jason Holt insists his former youth-team colleague will have no trouble picking up a new club.

He said: "It's disappointing as Fraser is a good mate of mine. We came through the youth team together but it's not my decision, that's down to the club.

"I spoke to him the day he found out. It's one of those ones that he just needs time to take it in. He's a good lad and I'm sure he will not be short of offers.

"He's a good player so I hope he does go on to bigger and better things once he's fit again from his injury."


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