HEARTS director Sergejus Fedotovas said today that the club’s on-field results must improve after the distraction of outstanding tax bills was removed this morning.
An agreement has been reached with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs over the “big tax case” and the board now have a desire to see an upturn in Hearts’ fortunes on the pitch. HMRC will let Hearts pay £1.5million over three years in 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 2013. The authorities had initially been seeking £1.75m plus costs if they won the case, which could have cost Hearts anything up to £4m. With that matter resolved, and with yesterday’s settlement of a previously outstanding £450,000 VAT and PAYE bill, Fedotovas declared Hearts have no more tax-related issues to deal with. He said focus should now turn to improving results on the pitch.
Hearts are currently ninth in the Scottish Premier League and surrendered their Scottish Cup with defeat against Hibs on Sunday, however they are in the semi-finals of the Scottish Communities League Cup.
“We managed to get this tax situation to safety and that allows us to give some positive cheer to supporters,” Fedotovas told the Evening News. “We will try to fix our most important things with our football results. We can pay more attention to that, perhaps, with January approaching. I don’t see any other things which are outstanding at the moment. There are no more tax cases. The club is as secure as it was. With the help from the fans that we got and with the help we continue to get, things are very much positive.”
The Hearts hierarchy remain concerned at the level of uptake in the club’s share issue, which ends on December 19 and has so far generated more than £700,000. The projected target is £1.79m. Fedotovas warned that the total income from shares sold will have a direct impact on what Hearts can or cannot do during the transfer window and throughout the rest of the season.
“We are still not on target yet with our plan for the share issue,” continued Fedotovas. “That gives some concern as to what management decisions we will need to make come January and what our financial position will be. We need to address that at the end of the share issue.
“It is very important to reach the target of the share issue. If we don’t, we will be deprived of many opportunities that would help this club in terms of football results and financial results. That will weaken the club unless we can find new investment.”