HEARTS administrators BDO have offered full backing to manager Gary Locke, insisting only a miracle worker could achieve more with the current squad at Tynecastle.
Bryan Jackson, the administrator in charge of Hearts, praised Locke’s loyalty to the cause and said it would be reciprocated for the rest of the season.
Locke has an inexperienced and threadbare squad and cannot sign any players whilst his club are in administration. BDO had asked the Scottish Professional Football League well before Christmas to relax the sanctions on Hearts and allow them to recruit during the January transfer window. However, the request was denied.The combined circumstances leave Hearts 19 points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership with 17 games remaining. Jackson has promised that Locke will get to see out the campaign and commended his effort amidst the turmoil.
“Nothing is going to change with regard to the sanctions and I feel really sorry for Gary in that we can’t do anything to help him,” said Jackson. “Those restrictions are there, we’ve tried and there’s nothing we can do about it. We’re sticking with Gary and hopefully Gary’s sticking with us. He’s shown fantastic loyalty since we went into administration and we have to show the same to him.
“Everybody knows he’s a Hearts man through and through; quite frankly to even think of changing management at this time, with the squad of players we’ve got, you’d have to be some kind of miracle worker.
“Gary’s doing incredibly well with the resources that he has. Anybody else coming in, they’re going to have the same resources. You also have to remember that we’re here, hopefully in a temporary capacity. So, that’s a major decision and something to be considered for the future. That would be for new owners rather than the administrators.”
BDO’s priority remains getting Hearts out of administration as soon as possible. They must wait for a creditors’ meeting to take place at Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG) to ratify a transfer of their 50 per cent share in the club to Foundation of Hearts, the fans’ umbrella group. The Foundation have had a Creditors’ Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) agreed on the condition that they can get control of UBIG’s shares.
Jackson is keen for fans to continue attending Tynecastle in the meantime to ensure there is sufficient funding for Hearts whilst they try to exit administration. “It is about saving the club and I hope all the fans will continue to turn up, support the team and hopefully we can get through the next few months successfully,” he added.