HEARTS manager Gary Locke is praying for a successful outcome from tomorrow’s creditors meeting at Tynecastle so that his club can move out of administration and return to normality.
Administrators BDO will ask creditors – including bankrupt Lithuanian firms Ukio Bankas and Ukio Bankas Investement Group – to accept a Creditors’ Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposed by Foundation of Hearts. If voted through, that would see the fans’ umbrella group take control of the club for the sum of £2.5m, payable to Ukio’s administrators.
Locke is eager for Hearts to exit administration and put their financial troubles to bed, whilst also enabling him to sign under-21 players in January. He already has ex-Rangers defender Darren Cole on trial and has cast his eye over Dunfermline striker Blair Henderson.
Nonetheless, the manager stressed today that securing Hearts’ future is the priority. “Everyone associated with the club just wants to see Hearts come out of administration so we can move forward,” he told the Evening News. “Hopefully we will get good news this week, although I’m not 100 per cent sure it will be straightforward having dealt with people in Lithuania in the past.
“I’m a supporter as well and you just want Hearts to get back on their feet again. I think that’s what everybody wants. It might be a wee bit longer than everybody thinks. At the start of the season, we weren’t in a favourable position but thanks to the fans’ support we’ve got ourselves into a position where hopefully a CVA can be agreed.
“If that’s the case, we can all begin to look ahead instead of looking back all the time. Being able to make signings in January would be great. We’ve said all along we’ve got a paper-thin squad and a young squad. At the start of any season, you’re looking to start with about 25 players. We have a squad of around 14 or 15, and then we’ve had to add younger lads at 16 and 17 years old to make up the numbers.
“It would be great if we could strengthen the team but the most important thing is to get out of administration and start moving in the right direction.”