Redundancies out of Locke's hands

Gary Locke has no say over which Hearts players are to be made redundant, while the deal for Danny Wilson is off.

Last Updated: 22/06/13 at 13:04 Post Comment

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Hearts manager Gary Locke will have no input into which members of his squad are to be made redundant.

Administrators BDO are now running the club and say they are likely to lay off two senior players and two youth-team members as they fight for the Edinburgh outfit's survival.

The football finance trouble-shooters have already made 14 backroom staff redundant while first-team players Jamie MacDonald and Ryan Stevenson have agreed to take wage cuts.

But Locke says the decision on which players have their contracts torn up will not be his.

He told Press Association Sport: "I won't have any input on which players are made redundant because it is purely about finance.

"The club has no money. We will have a better chance of keeping these players if we get the money in.

"It's imperative that we get more money in in the next two weeks. If we don't, more players will go and the club might not be here."

Hearts owe £25million to Lithuanian companies UBIG and Ukio Bankas.

Both firms were formerly controlled by ex-Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov, but UBIG are now waiting to be put into administration after its assets were frozen, while Ukio Bankas will soon be liquidated after a Kaunas court declared it insolvent.

The bank, however, has a floating charge on Tynecastle and other club assets as security for the £15million it is due, leading to fears that the stadium could be sold off to repay its own debts.

It was the threat of court action over a partially-paid £100,000 tax bill, however, that sparked the decision to place the club into administration.

BDO urged supporters on Thursday to buy 3,000 season tickets in the next 14 days to plug an immediate funding gap of up to £750,000.

Club directors had cited slow sales - Hearts had only hit 70 per cent of last season's 10,000 total - as they ran out of money to pay players and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Hearts fans kept the club afloat last season by buying more than £1million of shares and Locke - who only replaced John McGlynn as boss in March - appealed to the fans to dig deep once more.

He said: "We need to make sure the club survives. We need to make sure we can get people to buy season tickets. If we can do that, we have a chance.

"The fans have backed us very well over a number of years and we are asking them to do it once more in difficult circumstances.

"But I have no doubt the fans will back this club 100 per cent. I saw how they rallied last year. I'm a fan myself. I've got three daughters and maybe one day they will get married and have grandkids.

"I want them to come here and watch the team."

The manager also paid tribute to the actions of Stevenson and MacDonald in agreeing to take only partial payment of their wages.

He said: "That's a bit of positive news, especially for myself. It's a magnificent gesture from the two players and they are the type of players we want at our football club.

"We have all made sacrifices over the last few days and now we just hope the fans can do the same."

Hearts will start next season with minus 15 points after triggering a Scottish Premier League punishment by going into administration.

They have also been issued with a transfer embargo after failing to pay staff last Friday.

But Locke, who has also gone without pay, insists he will still do everything he can to help the club.

"I'm not getting paid any money right now but all my friends and family are buying season tickets," he said. "I'll be doing everything I can because I'm the same - I'm a fan and want this club to survive.

"None of us at the club are getting paid right now because the club has no money. That's the truth. We need to get money in and we can do that, we have a better chance."

The transfer embargo has also cost the club the chance to sign Scotland defender Danny Wilson on a pre-contract from Liverpool, with Locke confirming: "Danny is a Liverpool player until June 30 but obviously we have got a transfer embargo now so we can't sign him.

"I'm losing out on a fantastic player that I would have loved to have built my team around. Hopefully if everything works out, you never know, he might be back here one day."

BDO also confirmed that three Lithuanian directors - Roman Romanov, Sergejus Fedotovas and Vitalijus Vasiliauskas - have been sacked.


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