Fans’ consortium will launch solo bid for control of Hearts

FOUNDATION of Hearts will go it alone in their bid for control of the Tynecastle club, with the group’s chairman Alex Mackie stating today that he will not meet Angelo Massone or anyone else interested in buying out the Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov.

Mackie is determined that Foundation of Hearts deal with the current owners and no-one else. His consortium remains in constructive dialogue with the Hearts director Sergejus Fedotovas – Romanov’s right-hand man – and is currently preparing another bid after Romanov dismissed their £450,000 offer last week.

Massone had his offer of £4.5m rebuffed yesterday and is now keen to meet Mackie to see if they could work together. However, Mackie told the Evening News today that he will not entertain the Italian under any circumstances.

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“We wouldn’t be meeting Mr Massone, that would be a distraction we simply do not want at this stage,” said Mackie. “We will liaise directly with the owners ourselves. We’ve got so much going on just now, we don’t need that kind of distraction. I’ve said consistently that we still have a constructive dialogue with the owners and that is still the case.”

Foundation of Hearts are aiming to harness all fans’ groups and have already made significant progress to that effect. Their focus is on getting supporters to pledge an amount they would be willing to donate to a monthly membership scheme, which is how they intend to run Hearts.

Whilst Foundation of Hearts will return with an improved offer, Massone said he will not increase his bid. Hearts stated that the Italian “may not be the right person to take the club forward” given his disastrous reign at Livingston and claimed his offer undervalued the club. He is now asking to hold talks with Mackie face to face.

“Hearts have rejected my offer, first of all because I am Angelo Massone, and secondly because the money was not enough,” he said. “I don’t want to increase the offer. But I do want to speak directly, face-to-face, with the Foundation of Hearts and Supporters Direct to explain my project and tell them how I can help.

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“I have been speaking a lot with Paul Goodwin at Supporters Direct. And, at this stage, I hope he can organise a meeting with Alex Mackie of Foundation of Hearts, because at the end of the day they don’t know what it is I am proposing.

“I want to speak face to face and explain 100 per cent what my project is. I want supporter representatives on the board, democracy and eventually to hand the club over to supporters. I have said I only want to come back to Scottish football if I have the trust of supporters.”