A SCANDINAVIAN syndicate is still in the hunt to buy Hearts – despite its initial recovery package being rejected by now axed club officials.
A consultant with connections to the consortium, which is made up of four Norwegian and two Swedish businessmen, today revealed the group had not given up their efforts to take over the embattled Jambos.
Their continued interest was confirmed as administrators BDO set a July 12 deadline for all formal bids to be submitted.
The Nordic gang had made an offer of £500,000 to the club’s former Lithuanian directors just hours before it was confirmed they were entering administration.
The group – believed to be oil tycoons with links to the Capital – abandoned the bid after learning it would not guarantee saving the club.
However, Kai Isaksen, a spokesman for consultants Crest Sports Group, said the businessmen have now regrouped with a view to making a fresh bid.
He said: “They’re still interested – that is the bottom line. I think they’re deciding whether to go it alone or whether to make an approach with the Foundation [of Hearts], or with one of the other groups.
“From discussions early on, they are very open to co-operation.”
A planned press conference was shelved by the Scandinavians after Hearts officially declared they were going into administration, meaning the identity of the businessmen behind the push remains unknown.
Mr Isaksen said of the £500,000 offer: “There were some talks about how the Scandinavians could help out to avoid administration. They didn’t want Hearts to go into administration, with all the uncertainty that it brings.
“It was very difficult to get a guarantee that the club wouldn’t go into administration anyway. I believe £500,000, or just under £500,000, was the sum of money discussed, but the club had problems to guarantee that would be enough, which meant it didn’t go any further.”
Confirmation the Scandinavian bid remains alive came as season ticket sales edged closer to the 3000 called for by BDO’s Bryan Jackson to keep the club alive for the next four months.
Bonnyrigg father Alan Melrose, 42, was among those contributing to the tally – despite being a dedicated Rangers fan.
He bought three season tickets for his brother, niece and five-year-old daughter as well as paying £575 for a pair of boots auctioned off by former Hearts winger David Templeton. All proceeds will go to the Jambos.
Mr Melrose said he had acted because of his sympathy for Hearts’ situation, with his desire to help also motivated by wife Carol being a long-term Jambos season ticket holder.
He said: “It’s an absolute nightmare. I don’t think the SPL can lose Hearts, to be honest.”
Heriot-Watt University bosses are also doing their bit to ease Hearts’ financial crisis, having agreed to allow Riccarton to be used as a training ground despite being owed £150,000.