Hearts administrator Bryan Jackson thanked supporters, players and staff for their patience after striking a deal to take the club out of administration.
BDO’s senior partner has been in charge at Tynecastle since last June following Hearts’ financial collapse. Although BDO were installed as administrators on behalf of the club’s biggest creditor, Ukio Bankas, Jackson made securing Hearts’ future one of the top priorities.
He is now close to realising that aim following a deal with Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG) to transfer their 50 per cent stake in Hearts to the fans’ group Foundation of Hearts.
BDO will press to have the deal concluded before the end of March but it could be April before the Foundation take full control of Hearts.
Jackson said: “This is welcome news for the club as it means that the transfer of ownership can go ahead. While there remain some technical issues to resolve, the process is now gaining some momentum.
“I would again like to thank the fans, the staff and the players for their continued patience during this time.
“For all of those involved with Hearts, on and off the pitch and on the terraces, it has been a very difficult period and their assistance and support has been greatly appreciated.”
Ian Murray MP, chairman of Foundation of Hearts, is eager to ensure more fans subscribe to the monthly pledge scheme the Foundation is operating.
More than 7600 supporters are already contributing monthly payments to the Foundation’s cause. Murray hopes the deal to secure UBIG’s shares will prompt more to follow suit over the coming weeks.
He said: “This is very welcome news from BDO. We are edging closer to getting the club out of administration and we are now talking about ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
“This is a very significant hurdle overcome and we are delighted but more work is required.
“Let me continue to stress that we encourage every supporter who has not yet done so, and is able, to set up their monthly contribution at www.foundationofhearts.org”