A BUSINESSMAN who has failed three times to buy Hearts is set to re-enter the battle to take over the Tynecastle club.
Plumbing company boss Pat Munro is understood to be sounding out former Livingston chairman Angelo Massone over plans to pool resources and launch a joint bid to end Vladimir Romanov’s reign.
Under the plans, it is believed Mr Massone, below, would have a “back seat” role in the running of the club.
Mr Munro, who failed to buy Hearts in 2005, 2007 and 2008, now lives in South Africa and is thought to be keeping a keen eye on events in Gorgie.
One insider said talk of a formal bid may be premature, but there was an appetite to speak with Mr Massone, whose £4.5 million offer was rejected last week, with the current owners claiming he “may not be the right person to take the club forward”.
In the wake of a third bid by Mr Munro in 2008, a spokesman for Mr Romanov said: “Vladimir would be more interested to hear from Marilyn Monroe than Pat Munro.”
At the time it was reported Mr Munro’s offer for the club had exceeded £50m.
Meanwhile its been revealed the club will have received income nearing £1million by the end of next week, helping them to pay a £450,000 HMRC tax bill and process overdue wages for players.
The club has gained £600,000 so far through its share issue and £300,000 is due from Rangers next week as part of David Templeton’s transfer to Ibrox.
Players agreed to defer November’s salaries and December’s are due on the 16th of next month, both sums totalling around £250,000.
The HMRC bill must be settled by December 3 and much of the Templeton money is expected to be ringfenced for that.
Hearts are keen to try and sell out tickets for forthcoming home games against Celtic and Aberdeen, which would provide a further boost to their coffers as they attempt to make up a shortfall in funding.
Supporters have raised additional amounts independently which have yet to be totalled by the club.
The development comes days after Hearts also rebuffed an offer from Scots consortium Foundation of Hearts, which had tabled a £450,000 bid – debt and liability free – through a fan-led membership scheme.
In a message to fans, the Hearts board said: “Your commitment so far is all the more impressive given the stern barriers that we have had to overcome along the way, whether that is demands from tax authorities, opportunism from those interested in making a quick profit for themselves, or the self-publicists and dreamers who value themselves more than the club.
“Our message to them is step aside, we have work to do and this work is for the club and nothing but the club”.
January 2005: A consortium led by Pat Munro claims it has the means to buy a major shareholding in Hearts. The club’s owners say Mr Romanov’s bid is the only “serious” option.
February 2005: Mr Romanov concludes his buyout of Chris Robinson’s 19.6 per cent shareholding for just under £870,000.
February 2007: Mr Munro admits Mr Romanov has snubbed his consortium’s fresh takeover advances.
February 2008: Reported £50 million takeover bid by Pat Munro-led consortium rejected.
November 2012: Mr Munro reaches out to former Livingston owner Angelo Massone over a possible joint bid to buy Hearts.