FOUNDATION OF HEARTS is gearing up to go it alone in its bid to take control of the club after being boosted by a timely financial injection.
The fans-led group had been open to working in conjunction with other interested parties such as the consortium led by Gordon McKie, with whom they have been in talks.
However, with just a week to go until the deadline for bids for the club, the Evening News has learned that the Foundation, having tapped into some extra capital, now feels equipped to land the club under its own steam.
In addition to this monetary boost, the Foundation’s path towards ownership has been cleared by McKie’s revelation that his group are no longer in a position to go it alone and would only pursue their interest if they were able to go into partnership with the Foundation.
The news that the Foundation is of a mind to go solo effectively rules McKie’s group – one of the main contenders – out of the race for control.
Despite their present intentions and their claim that they have received “positive vibes” from club administrator BDO, the Foundation remains willing to talk to any serious interested parties, but, barring any unlikely changes in circumstances over the next few days, it will lodge its own bid next week.
McKie had stated that his group would not be running for sole control of the club as a result of the £1 million working capital shortfall which will befall the new owners as a result of the fact BDO have confirmed that all season-ticket sales must be honoured.
“The only way we are prepared to proceed is in partnership with somebody, and ideally that would be with the Foundation of Hearts,” said McKie. “We never intended to compete with them. It’s possible they want to go it alone, and that’s fine, there are no sour grapes on our part and we hope to see Hearts restored to order.”
n HEARTS’ administrators revealed yesterday that they have turned down bids for two first-team players.
On the playing front, Hearts have added a friendly away to Queen of the South to their schedule. The match will take place on Saturday, July 20. However, manager Gary Locke’s pre-season plans have been dealt a blow after Celta Vigo, Hearts’ first opponents in the Ballymena tournament, pulled out of the four-team tournament in Belfast. Crusaders, the host club, are trying to find a replacement club.