HEARTS officials are to hold critical talks with Ukio Bankas administrators to discuss the £15million they owe the Lithuanian bank.
The debt facility agreement between the Edinburgh club and Ukio runs until December 2015 and Hearts will argue that the arrangement should continue as planned. Valnetas UAB, appointed as administrators of Ukio, have the power to recall the money after the bank was declared bankrupt at a hearing in Kaunas yesterday.
If the £15m is recalled, it would almost certainly force Hearts into administration. Senior members of the Tynecastle board will therefore seek vital talks on the matter with officials at Valnetas, aiming to convince them to let the current arrangement run its course.
Hearts are meeting all their responsibilities as part of the plan and covering the interest payments as required.
However, those charged with liquidating Ukio may decide it is in creditors’ interests to call in the £15m. Ukio can appeal yesterday’s decision within ten days. It could take months for Valnetas to decide what course of action to take with Hearts.
Lapsing into administration now would trigger an automatic points deduction based on last season’s points total, and that could relegate the club depending on results between now and the end of the season.
Officials at Hearts are confident they would avoid relegation as long as they are not placed in administration on or before May 19 – the final day of the SPL campaign. If they enter administration on or after May 20, Hearts believe they would be deducted points from this season’s total and start season 2013/14 in the SPL with a negative points column.