JIM JEFFERIES has invested much of his life into Hearts – now he’s praying that some of Edinburgh’s most influential businessmen will do the same with their cash.
The news that a winding-up order and huge tax debts could see them go bust before the month is out has left the two-time former Hearts manager, player, and lifelong supporter, gutted.
He knows, however, that there has been interest in the past from those with money to spend and he’s hoping the seriousness of the latest financial crisis will bring some of them back to the table.
He said: “Hearts are a huge club with a great tradition. It’s unthinkable for me that they could go to the wall in a matter of days. It would be a major disaster for Scottish football if that happened. But I know for a fact that there are people out there who have the club’s best interests at heart and the money to make a difference to the immediate future at Tynecastle.
“People might ask where they have been up until now but there have been meetings with Vladimir Romanov in the past, and plenty of them. Agreement has never been able to be reached on a deal.”
While Jefferies cannot believe the situation has been allowed to spiral to this extent he did credit Vladimir Romanov with allowing Hearts to continue to play at Tynecastle instead of selling the stadium off and move their home matches to Murrayfield.
Jefferies continued: “Mr Romanov came in with promises of challenging for the title and taking Hearts into the Champions League. The problem was that involved taking players on who were getting paid high salaries that were beyond the club’s means. Now the money has dried up and the extravagant promises were never able to be delivered.
“But I give him credit for at least keeping Hearts at Tynecastle when those who had gone before him had contemplated the idea of selling the ground and having the team play their matches at Murrayfield.”