Hearts liquidation: Ukio fail to agree deal

Hearts were relegated into the Scottish Championship. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Hearts were relegated into the Scottish Championship. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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Administrators for Ukio Bankas have failed to agree on a deal to hand over their Hearts shares after a series of meetings in Lithuania.

Earlier today UBIG administrators voted to sell their Hearts shares, leaving a possible Ukio agreement as the last hurdle in the battle to avoid liquidation.

As the club battles to stave off the threat of liquidation. Hearts administrator Bryan Jackson flew to Vilnius this morning to try to gain approval from Lithuanian creditors for a CVA.

But the mood among fans remained defiant. Steve Kilgour, of the Federation of Hearts, said:“The message to everybody at the club, Gary Locke and the players, is that we are proud of them. We can see the young players really developing. If this was the start of the season we would be really safe. They have not relegated us, it’s the previous regime that’s done that.”

And Craig Wilson, among the organisers of the Hearts Fans Rally. said: “We’re hoping that because of the way the fans have reacted we can all move on and Hearts can get out of administration. Fans have shown their defiance that Hearts will be back.”

Meanwhile, in a last-minute bid, Edinburgh businessman Pat Munro offered Hearts’ major shareholders Ukio Bankas and Ukio Bankas Investment Group £15 million for the club.

Administrators BDO feared the 11th-hour intervention could delay today’s crucial meetings in Lithuania which could secure the club’s future.

Munro failed with several previous attempts to gain control of Hearts. Neither BDO nor Foundation of Hearts are taking this latest bid seriously given its timing and Munro’s history, but they are worried those in Lithuania will want to explore it further.

For 85 minutes of Saturday’s game at Firhill, enthusiastic supporters thought they were safe for another week.

But St Mirren’s late victory against Motherwell signalled the Tynecastle club’s drop from the SPFL Premiership.

A proud standing ovation and jubilant chants for the players and manager Gary Locke were sure signs of unwavering support, despite Hearts being relegated for the first time in more than 30 years.

The club delighted fans with their 4-2 win against Partick Thistle, turning the game around after their opponents took an early lead. And it was evident from the buoyant atmosphere that fans will stick by the team when they start next season in the Championship.

Hearts fan John McBurnie said: “The main feeling at the end of the game wasn’t so much that everybody was really dejected that Hearts were going down. There was more a feeling that everybody was pleased that they went down winning. They really played well.”

He added: “Everybody started to give the team a really good ovation, the fans have been backing them the whole season, in financial support as well as the games so they’re not going to stop doing that just because they are playing in the Championship,”

See Also:

• Concern over Pat Munro’s ‘£15m’ Hearts bid