Revealed: UBIG hasn’t funded Hearts since beginning of the year

Vladimir Romanov has allowed Hearts to be weaned off UBIG reliance
Vladimir Romanov has allowed Hearts to be weaned off UBIG reliance
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HEARTS have not received funding from their parent company, Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG), since the turn of the year.

The club incurred their latest wage delays whilst being totally self-sufficient and working strictly with their own income. Six players plus manager John McGlynn did not receive their monthly salaries on Monday but all outstanding monies are expected to be paid in the near future.

The Edinburgh branch of Ukio Bankas

The Edinburgh branch of Ukio Bankas

The Scottish Premier League, having imposed an indefinite transfer embargo on Hearts when last month’s wages were late, will meet on Monday to discuss the latest delay.

The Evening News has learned that UBIG’s funding of Hearts stopped at the start of this year, although the Lithuania-based company continues to support the club through debt facilities. Hearts are £24million in the red but have drastically reduced their wage bill and operating costs in the last three years.

Club finances are still feeling the effects of several seasons of over-spending and the latest wage delay comes after months of self-sufficiency with no financial contributions from UBIG, the company owned by Hearts’ majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov. Hearts’ long-term aim is to become entirely independent by generating their own capital so that the support of UBIG is no longer required. Players who remain without wages are among the club’s top earners.

They have been informed that salaries will be processed as soon as possible and are willing to stay patient having had the club’s business plans explained to them by senior officials.

The SPL will consider a range of options to punish Hearts during Monday’s meeting at Hampden Park. The transfer embargo will only be lifted once Hearts have demonstrated their ability to consistently pay wages on time. Other possibilities include a fine, although a points deduction would be an extreme sanction for the league to impose.

Hearts have written to the SPL to inform them of the latest delay, which comes a month after the same group of players, along with McGlynn, did not receive September’s wages on time.

That prompted the embargo to kick in automatically under new rules ratified by all SPL clubs in May this year.