Hearts appeal to fans for funding
Soccer:Hearts have warned fans the club might not survive until the end of the month after being hit with a winding-up order over a tax bill of over €500,000. The Scottish Premier League club issued a plea for “emergency backing” after confirming action by the British customs at an Edinburgh court.Hearts said they were attempting to negotiate a payment plan with the tax authority over the matter, which is unrelated to a €2.2 million bill the club are challenging at a tax tribunal. But they later asked supporters to find the money to see the club through the crisis in an appeal described as “not so much a request as a necessity”.
Hearts urged supporters to buy tickets for forthcoming home matches and invest in a recently-launched share issue. The board statement added: “Without the support of fans there is, as we issue this note, a real risk that Heart of Midlothian Football Club could possibly play its last game next Saturday, 17 November, against St Mirren.
“This isn’t a bluff, this isn’t scaremongering, this is reality.”
New SPL rules introduced in the summer would see Hearts face a more stringent punishment than the previous automatic 10-point penalty if they are forced into administration. The rules state Hearts would be deducted a third of their previous season’s tally, rounded up to the nearest whole number. Hearts finished on 52 points last season, which could mean an 18-point deduction in the coming weeks.
It was court action that forced Rangers into administration in February. The statement added: “Without your help now, we could be entering the final days of the club’s existence. There are limited options for the board of directors to take to avoid the catastrophic consequences that a funding shortfall would mean for the club.
“In a footballing sense alone Hearts will suffer an immediate 17-point (sic) penalty. This would just be the start of a painful process that will affect every one of us and could lead to far more damaging actions that threaten the very existence of the club.”