COLIN CAMERON insisted today that the Hearts supporters can help keep the threat of liquidation at bay.
The Tynecastle side yesterday lodged papers with the Court of Session in Edinburgh to appoint an administrator, plunging the club’s backers into fresh doubt over their long-term future.
However, the former Hearts midfielder, right, believes the same fans who raised over £1 million through a share issue back in November will again stand up and be counted in the club’s latest hour of need.
Having seen the Rangers supporters rally round their club in the wake of their fall from grace to the Third Division, Cameron reckons the Hearts fans will respond in a similarly manner.
And with the Foundation of Hearts preparing a takeover bid, based largely on pledges from Jambos fans, Cameron said: “One thing about fans in this country is that they will always stick by their teams.
“You just need to look at what happened with Rangers last year and the response that they got from their supporters. I think that you will see the same kind of reaction from the Hearts fans. The last thing anyone connected with the club wants to see is them being liquidated.”
Cameron was saddened by the news that Hearts were heading into administration yesterday afternoon. The Cowdenbeath manager played for the Jambos between 1996 and 2001 and still keeps a close eye on his old club’s fortunes. He said: “It’s not the news that you would want to hear, but it is obvious that they have tried everything they possibly can and now you have to say that it is probably the best way forward for them.”
Cameron was a guest of Hearts for the final Edinburgh derby of the season in April and met up with some familiar faces from his playing days in Gorgie.
And it’s those people who work behind the scenes that he felt for the most – office workers and domestic staff with mortgages – when administration was finally confirmed.
“They are the people that you really feel for,” said Cameron. “When I was there at the end of last season I met with a lot of people again and you don’t like to see members of staff, people who work behind the scenes and friends go through everything that they have over the past few months. It still doesn’t seem quite real.
“I have no doubt that the staff have been expecting something to happen sooner rather than later, but I think that this has maybe come about a lot quicker than the majority of people had thought it would.
“Now it is there in black and white, though, it is definitely happening and when the administrators come in they are going to have to make quite a few cuts.
“The bottom line is, they are going to have to try to balance the books and people are going to lose their jobs. It’s never nice to see that.”
Brown furious at ‘use and abuse’ that kept Jambos up
DUNDEE boss John Brown today claimed that Hearts ‘used and abused’ the system to avoid taking the drop into the First Division at the end of last season.
The Tynecastle side lodged papers at the Court of Session yesterday to appoint an administrator, with KPMG poised to take charge of the crisis-hit Gorgie club. If they had gone into administration before the end of the last SPL campaign they would have been hit with a 17-point deduction and, as a result, they would have been relegated instead of the Tayside outfit. But because of the timing of their legal proceedings – just days before the release of the fixture list for next season – their punishment will come in the form of a 15-point penalty for breaking the governing body’s rules on insolvency events.
Dark Blues gaffer Brown raged: “It doesn’t surprise me that this has happened. What really annoys me is that they have totally used and abused the system by leaving it until now to avoid relegation — and it’s been allowed to happen. They’re probably laughing at us now but what has gone on is scandalous. They’ve taken the Mickey out of everyone and the whole thing stinks.
“When Dundee, Rangers and Livingston went into administration, they all paid the penalty. They were hammered – but Hearts have broken the rules and got away with it.”
Union wants ‘minimal’ cuts
FRASER WISHART hopes cuts already made at Tynecastle will mean that there are only minimal redundancies among the playing staff when administrators take over.
The Gorgie club filed papers to enter administration yesterday but Wishart, chief executive of PFA Scotland, hopes agreement can be reached with the players over further pay reductions in a bid to save more jobs.
Last year, Rangers players took sizeable wage cuts to save the club and Wishart is keen to see the same tactic at Tynecastle. He said: “There is a case for saying Hearts have to retain a playing staff of some quality if they are playing in the Scottish Premier League next season, as they are under a transfer embargo.
“We can only hope from my side that because the wage bill has been pared back and cut so much in the 12 months that there might be minimal damage to the playing side.
“My first port of call will be with the administrators after they are formally appointed, and we will have a meeting in the early course. In footballing insolvencies, the cost base that is usually attacked is the players.”