Hearts administrators decision due

Ukio Bankas look set to get their way and have BDO become Hearts' administrators.

Last Updated: 18/06/13 at 19:59 Post Comment

Hearts face losing out to Ukio Bankas on the appointment of their preferred administrators after the man controlling the stricken Lithuanian institution confirmed he would object to KPMG taking control of the club.

Hearts, facing a winding-up order over a partially-paid £100,000 tax bill, lodged their intention to go into administration on Monday but their plans were thrown off course by developments in Lithuania.

It is understood that Gintaras Adomonis of Lithuanian administrators UAB Valnetas, who is dealing with the bankrupt financial institution, has approached BDO to ask it to prepare to take control of the club, which has run out of money to pay staff and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

A petition is expected to go before the Court of Session on Wednesday and an administrator could be formally appointed before close of play.

But it is believed the Lithuanian request is likely to be granted given Ukio Bankas holds a floating charge over the club's assets, including Tynecastle Stadium, and thus has the final say on the club's immediate future.

In a statement, Adomonis confirmed he would object to the potential appointment of KPMG and would lodge a notice with the court to appoint an administrator proposed by the Lithuanian bank.

Adomonis said: "We thoroughly analysed (the) financial and legal framework of Hearts' case and, taking into account failure by Hearts to cover the debt to HMRC, it appeared that administration of the club is the only option available at the moment.

"We still believe that we should stay with our ultimate goal to defend the interest of the creditors of Ukio Bankas and sell the club to the appropriate investor as soon as possible.

"Thus, we want the administrator to be not only experienced but dedicated to football as well."

Ukio Bankas owns 29.9 per cent of Hearts and is owed £15million by the club with Tynecastle security on the debt. The situation is further complicated by the fact that UBIG, a separate company that was also formerly controlled by Vladimir Romanov, owns just over half of the club and is owed £10million by Hearts.

UBIG signalled its inability to meet its liabilities last month but its insolvency has not been confirmed.

BDO includes experienced football administrator Bryan Jackson, who has performed the role at Clydebank, Clyde, Motherwell, Dundee and Portsmouth and is currently bidding to save Dunfermline from liquidation.

KPMG's football experience includes the administration of Leeds and the now defunct Airdrieonians.

The troubled situation of both Lithuanian companies, who were once controlled by the man who ultimately called the shots at Hearts, Romanov, has raised fears among supporters that Tynecastle could be sold off to meet the debts of the parent companies.

But Adomonis last week stated it was in the bank's interests to sell the club as a going concern and almost 1,000 people have pledged money to help fund a proposed fans' takeover in the 24 hours since Hearts made their intentions known.

The Foundation of Hearts' chairman, Labour MP Ian Murray, said: "We are now beginning to converting pledges to cash tonight and it is fantastic that we're now talking to over 5,000 supporters when the process begins.

"The Hearts supporters have been absolutely incredible, and we know they are going to rise to the challenge of allowing us to make a credible bid for control of Hearts, which will create a supporter governed, community focused club run by highly professional people charged with ensuring the oldest club in Edinburgh can have a bright future after these difficult days."

There is also interest from a number of other parties, including Scandinavian and US consortiums.

Hearts, who are already working under a transfer embargo over their failure to pay players last Friday, will be hit with a 15-point penalty - one third of their Scottish Premier League total from last season - when a court approves their move into administration.


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