Gary McKay: Hearts safe with Locke and KPMG

Hearts manager Gary Locke. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Hearts manager Gary Locke. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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I’VE had time to sleep on the grim news about my beloved club slipping into administration, but it certainly doesn’t feel any better today than it did yesterday. We are in a state of limbo as a club and I am simply gutted for so many people.

There is little to be positive about apart from the fact we have an incredible set of fans and a manager who would do anything to help Hearts get through this mess. If it’s any consolation, I am also pleased that we have nominated KPMG as our preferred administrator.This is the second time KPMG have become part of my life as I dealt with them when Airdrie went into administration when I was the manager.

The one thing I can guarantee the Hearts supporters is that KPMG are a quality organisation. From my experience, if you were ever going to go through a horrible situation like this, these guys are excellent to deal with. They will look into every nook and cranny and establish just how perilous a state we are in and work out whether it’s a situation that can be rescued without liquidation. They are good people and they’ll do everything in their power to make sure things don’t get any worse than administration.

There’s no guarantee KPMG will not unravel more difficult situations to overcome because people from within Tynecastle haven’t been transparent for some time now.

You only have to look at the share issue, where those who parted with their hard-earned cash never even received a certificate. The fact that didn’t even come as a great surprise and that there’s barely been an explanation just underlines what type of people we have had running our club. I don’t think we’ll see any of the Lithuanian owners again.

And then there’s the situation with Danny Wilson who was portrayed just a few weeks ago as our summer signing. My heart really goes out to the lad. It’s a disgusting situation for that to happen to such a fine individual.

I did suggest a few months ago that maybe it was time we took our medicine and went into administration, but there is no way anyone who cares about Hearts can view it as a positive development. The timing of it stinks.

At Airdrie, we had an idea a few months beforehand that administration was likely. If the powers-that-be at Tynecastle had their fingers on the pulse, they must have had some indication that this was a possibility, so it baffles me that they didn’t go into administration last season and take relegation there and then.

Instead we’re now going to be hit with a 15-point penalty, we don’t know when we’re going to come out of administration, and we have a threadbare squad and a transfer embargo. We’re staring into the abyss in terms of trying to stay in the SPL this season. It’s going to be a massive uphill climb to try and avoid relegation.

I don’t think you can express how difficult it will be for Lockey. It’s June 18th, pre-season starts a week on Monday, we have only about 14 players with first-team experience and no way of adding new faces, so I don’t see what type of expectations can be put on the manager. With a relatively strong team last year, we lost nine points out of 12 against a Dundee side that was destined to be relegated. In our current state, I genuinely don’t think Sir Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho would have much chance of keeping us up. The one thing about Lockey is that, as he showed in the way he battled his injuries as a player, he’s always up for a fight.

If you were going to be picking a man to front a fight on behalf of Heart of Midlothian, then there’s no better guy than Gary Locke. We need more people of his ilk at the club and that’s why I’d be delighted if the Foundation of Hearts, who are honourable and trustworthy people, were able to take us forward.

With regards to a takeover, the latest developments may smooth the way for other interested parties to come forward as they will have more clarity and transparency about what state the club is actually in. Whoever comes in, though, I just pray that this great football club can somehow find its way into honourable and trustworthy hands. For too long now, that’s not been the case.