HEARTS director Sergejus Fedotovas today warned that the club may have to cut staff in order to keep the club in business.
Fedotovas admitted that there is a real possibility of job losses in January if the Tynecastle side cannot cover the predicted shortfall of £2 million for the season. The club announced yesterday that an agreement has been reached with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs over their outstanding £1.75m tax case that will allow Hearts to pay a reduced amount of £1.5m – £1.2m in tax and National Insurance, plus £300,000 in interest – back over three years.
The two parties reached a compromise agreement over unpaid tax relating to players loaned from the Lithuanian club FBK Kaunas between 2005 and 2010.
The instalments will be monthly, starting in May of next year.
In addition to that matter being resolved, Hearts earlier in the week also settled a previously outstanding £450,000 VAT and PAYE bill and Fedotovas has insisted that there are now no more tax-related issues to deal with.
Hearts are believed to have raised almost £1m so far through their share issue and other avenues and Fedotovas is hopeful that they will reach the desired £2m mark.
He stressed, however, that the club still needs supporters to back the club financially if they are to avoid losing a number of staff – both on and off the pitch – come the turn of the year.
The share issue scheme runs only until December 19, and, asked about the threat of job losses if they fall short, he said: “This is a possibility. If that’s what’s required to keep the club in business, we will be forced to do that. We are somewhere halfway through addressing the funding gap.”
Hearts are ninth in the Scottish Premier League and were knocked out of the William Hill Scottish Cup on Sunday by Hibs. However, they are in the semi-finals of the Scottish
Communities League Cup.
“The share issue is designed to create stability and it is important to achieve the targets we have set,” Fedotovas added on the club’s official website. “Unless these targets are hit, we forecast there will be further battles ahead when it comes to timely payment of bills.
“There is no reasonable
expectation that we can bring significantly more revenue to the club at this moment.”