Vladimir Romanov gives up basketball team

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Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov has given up ownership of a basketball club after failing to secure financial backing.

It comes after shares in Ukio Bankas plummeted by as much as 21 per cent – which means more than half the bank’s value has been wiped out in the last year.

According to reports, Romanov, who owns 64.9 per cent of the bank, will relinquish ownership of debt-ridden Lithuanian basketball team Zalgiris because the city council refused to provide enough financial support.

Earlier this week, the Save our Hearts campaign group said they had no fresh fears for the club’s future despite shares in the bank crashing.

Romanov controls Hearts through Ukio Banko Investicine Grupe, a sister company of the lender.