Hearts buy-out: Ukio Bankas in bankruptcy appeal
HEARTS’ future under stricken majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov took a fresh twist when it emerged an appeal has been launched against the bankruptcy proceedings started on the Lithuanian’s bank, Ukio Bankas.
The court decision to proceed with a bankruptcy order against the bank, which was placed in temporary administration in February because of “risky loans to related parties”, sparked speculation over the future of Hearts.
Fears that the Tynecastle club, which survived a winding-up order in November over a £450,000 debt to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, could be plunged into administration have been dismissed by officials and financial experts.
However, with Hearts owing Ukio Bankas around £15 million, it remains to be seen just how the bank’s problems will impact on the SPL outfit.
A group of the six main supporters’ bodies, spearheaded by Edinburgh MP Ian Murray, is currently mustering support in a bid to piece together a takeover of the club, but it is understood any buy-out is currently not permitted after Romanov’s assets with investment group UBIG were frozen by a Lithuanian court.
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With a new court date still to be announced, the decision to appeal the bankruptcy ruling may just further delay any proposed move from the fans to assume control of their club.