Defiant Ian Murray MP insists the alarming developments of the past few days won’t deter the Foundation of Hearts from their bid to seize control of the Tynecastle club.
Hearts were plunged even deeper into crisis on Thursday when it emerged they are battling just to stay alive until the start of the new season.
They were unable to pay their players yesterday and need to find around £500,000 to make it through to August.
Foundation chief Murray, however, speaking at the fans group’s question-and-answer session in the Gorgie Suite last night, was adamant that they have been working for some time with the worst-case scenario in mind and are not fazed by the prospect of the club lurching into administration, or worse.
Such has been the efforts of the fans group over a sustained period of time, Murray insists they can be equipped to take over the club whatever state it ends up in.
The Labour MP said: “Recent events do not really affect anything in the sense that it is pretty much the inevitable endgame of what has been going on for some time. Some clarity has been provided, what it might do is give a little bit of impetus for people to pledge [to the Foundation] who might have been reluctant. We are now in a position to say: ‘If you didn’t think the club was in trouble, now you know!’ It is time to move forward with this stuff.” While he would prefer the club to
remain a going concern, Murray insists the Foundation will be there to try and help the club off the canvas regardless of how bad things get. “Nobody wants to liquidate any company, that is a disaster, particularly a football club, but it has happened in the past,” he acknowledged. “These things happen but it is not our role to speculate – our concern is to have a bid on the table to take forward to any administrator, liquidator or owner.” Murray, who reaffirmed the group’s intention to table a bid by the end of the month, admits the whole situation at Hearts is something of a minefield and is braced for the possibility of discovering further problems if and when any period of due diligence takes place. He admits this could make any takeover bid a long, drawn-out process. “We’ve only got what anybody else has [regarding information],” he said. “We’ve only got what is in the public domain and what people are telling us.
“In terms of due diligence, it would have to be done. That due diligence isn’t going to be quick. To be honest, we’re worried about opening some drawers – and worried about what we might see in them. There is a long, long process to go
before any transfer of ownership happens. But certainly, if we get a bid on the table, that’s the biggest hurdle.”