THE three bidders for Hearts must prove their financial clout within the next seven days or risk being discounted from the race to gain control at Tynecastle.
Administrators BDO emailed all three parties yesterday – Foundation of Hearts, Bob Jamieson’s HMFC Limited and Angelo Massone’s Five Stars Football Limited – requesting proof of funding before they can name a preferred bidder for the Edinburgh club.
The Foundation will submit financial documents to BDO by the middle of next week, possibly earlier, detailing their £5.75 million offer. The fans’ group will demonstrate that an initial £2m cash is available from investors for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which is necessary for Hearts to exit administration. Converted monthly pledges from supporters will provide the remaining £3.75m in working capital to run the club for the next three years.
It remains to be seen whether HMFC Limited and Five Stars Football Limited will follow suit. Jamieson has denied being in dispute with his American backers, Club 9 Sports, over funding for his £5m offer for Hearts. It is comprised of £1.8m for control of the club plus £3.2m in working capital for three years.
Massone’s bid is around £4m, but does not include a plan for working capital. The Italian previously led Livingston into financial trouble and could be considered not “fit and proper” to run a football club under Scottish Football Association guidelines on owners.
Any party which is unable to provide proof of funding will no longer be considered a serious bidder by BDO. The administrators hope to name a preferred bidder within the next three to four weeks.
Meanwhile, the disciplinary hearing for Hearts entering administration has been postponed until August 1. It was supposed to take place yesterday but has now been put back.
BDO are hoping to avoid a financial punishment from the SFA. Rangers were fined for the same offence last year, while Dunfermline received a registration embargo when they entered administration in April.