Value of Tynecastle weighing heavily on Hearts on the brink


‘News’ that a football club can actually go out of business will come as a surprise to no one here as Hearts issued a statement saying “Without the support of fans there is a real risk that Hearts could possibly play its last game on 17 November.”

Hearts have two commercial problems: they owe HMRC money they don’t have and their running costs are greater than their income.  They also have over £20m of debt owed to major shareholder, Ukio Bankas, which at this stage of their corporate existence is more of an asset than a liability.

The club have asked supporters to cough up around £2m to pay HMRC and see it through until the end of the season.  A further £1.7m HMRC demand is being contested but should Hearts lose this appeal, that bill will crystallise quickly.

Unlike the now-defunct Rangers, Hearts major shareholder is due more than 75% of the debt, so Ukio could vote to accept a Company Voluntary Arrangement, possibly for as little as 1p in the £1, if the club goes into administration.  This is a well-travelled road for Scottish football clubs who overwhelmingly fail owing shareholders or the bank the majority of their debt.

In this respect, there is no obvious reason why Hearts are in danger of playing their last game next week.  Administration would allow the club to shed its debt, including the contested tax bill.  It would almost certainly result in player redundancies, which would reduce expenditure below the level of income.  Hearts would be diminished as a football club, and would take a 17 point hit in the SPL, but that is as bad as it needs to get. Ukio Bankas would take the largest hit on money they may well have already written-off.

The only thing I see for Hearts fans to worry about is the property value of Tynecastle.  Ukio will almost certainly have a charge on all the club’s property assets.  If the club disappears, they would be left with the real estate.  Tynecastle is worth a whole lot more money as flats than as a football field.

When a company cannot pay its creditors it goes into administration and seeks to negotiate a settlement with them.  Hearts can do this “within days if not hours”, as Our Hero once said.  It’s just curious that Hearts are playing on the bring rather than sorting things out.

Maybe they could get former player and tracksuit salesman, Maurice something-or-other, to sell some of their assets.

The magnificent 1254125 charity cycle, from birthplace of Brother Walfrid, Ballymote, Co. Sligo, to Celtic Park, got underway yesterday. Today the six cyclists, Paul Muldoon (of this parish), Mark Cameron, Alistair Schulz, Robert Campbell Ray McFarland and Jim Kelly, left Blacklion on a 80 mile journey to Lurgan.

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  1. Celtic confirm appointment of Jim McGuinness



    Celtic have announced that Donegal GAA Football manager Jim McGuinness is joining the club as a performance consultant.



    In a statement issued on Celtic’s official website, the club say McGuinness will be based at Lennoxtown and will help in the development of the club’s young players.



    McGuinness said he’s grateful to Neil Lennon for being given the opportunity and he’s relishing getting started towards the end of this month.



    “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me on an individual level and I’m very thankful to Neil Lennon for giving me this chance and bringing me into the club,” McGuinness told the official Celtic website.



    The news brings to an end weeks of speculation surrounding the Glenties man’s future. He met with Celtic officials after attending Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Barcelona in Glasgow and reports in the national media this week suggested a deal could be worth as much as 150,000 euro a year.



    Just what impact the appointment will have on his role with Donegal remains to be seen.



    “Obviously I work in amateur sport and the opportunity to work in professional sport in any capacity is a wonderful chance for me and one I’m very looking forward to,” McGuinness said.



    “My role will be based on developing the younger players in the club, development and Academy players that are U20 and that level.



    “It’s really about trying to work on every single one of the players on an individual level, trying to develop them in several areas, something I have experienced often in the past.



    “You are really looking to create a finished product that is good enough to be pushing for the first team and creating a stronger squad at the club.



    “We will hopefully look at every single player as an individual project and move them forward as best we can. We will revaluate every couple of months and try and move them forward and give them the best opportunity to develop and grow within the club so they can put their best foot forward in making the ultimate step up to first-team football.”



    Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, says he’s delighted to bring Jim on board. “We are absolutely delighted that Jim has agreed to join us. He is a first-class coach and manager and a high-quality individual who has achieved so much already in sport.



    “We feel he will add real value to the club in terms of moving our young players forward and in making sure they develop in the right way for the benefit of the Club.”

  2. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    It makes no difference to the jambo fans when administration hits. So why invest now. It sounds like Vladdy is doing a Chucky




  3. kitalba – Unusual move, reminds me of Clive Woodward going to Southampton FC.



    Hopefully this works out better. (thumbsup)

  4. Is it more probable now that Celtic will be invited to a more lucrative market.


    That is, with the SPL having more financial trouble now than ever and


    the show we gave everyone Wednesday, someone must be thinking of a way


    to bring Celtic into their revenue streams. No?




  5. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo



    how many empty rows between the crowd and the pitch as demanded by UEFA = how many supporters.



    55 or 60? Who asked the question? Size does not matter when the world watched a meglo-MEGO-club get humped by a PAROCHIAL humblish club!

  6. Did Sandy Jardine not used to play for Hearts?



    I expect he’ll be a-marchin’ along the hard shoulder of the M8 as we speak!

  7. philvisreturns:



    I work on site, Neil Lennon does not tell me who can carry the load and I would never dream of telling Neil Lennon his nasal hair was showing.

  8. The Battered Bunnet on

    Quite right Paul.



    I said as much in a post last night, although the central issue is really whether selling the ground now is a more attractive option than hanging on until real estate prices improve.



    If the latter, then the club has a chance to make a plan for life elsewhere. If the former, they’re pretty much goosed I think, short of getting a lease on Murrayfield or sharing with Livi.



    The short term needs of the Charge Holder, whoever that is in reality, will determine Hearts’ fate.

  9. Paul i was just thinking yes i know scary thought ;)



    What about dignity FC helping their wee pals out and paying them the cash they owe for Wallace.

  10. kitalba



    12:12 on 9 November, 2012






    ‘how many empty rows between the crowd and the pitch as demanded by UEFA = how many supporters.’




    That doesn’t apply at CP, though it does at other grounds like Anfield. Presumably it’s something that was taken into account when the stadium was rebuilt.



    The missing 5,000 might be seats allocated to sponsors, UEFA flunkies etc, though the figure does seem high.

  11. Big Vic comes out with a bold “Boy George” type statement but not about tea for those who remember that one.



    I think he was telling the truth.



    “The feeling I got after the goal against Barcelona was just unbelievable,” the 21-year-old told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. “I’ve never felt anything like that in my life. It was better than sex.”

  12. ernie lynch 12:18 on 9 November, 2012



    That’s my reading of it. They no longer actually count the people through the gates, they just take the easy route and count tickets sold. So between segregation and UEFA/sponsors/others we lose the 5k.

  13. Minceyheidman


    12:08 on


    9 November, 2012



    I have some knowledge of the GAA, but have been told by someone with infinitely more wisdom on the subject that Jim’s a highly qualified sports psychologist, who has had tremendous success in motivating young sportsmen.



    I do know that what he did with Donegal was incredible given their starting point 2 years ago.



    Árd Macha

  14. Battered Bunnet, depressed property prices will not necessarily help them. If the security holder wants their money back they can hold the property until a sunnier day. This is a rare opportunity to get their money back, perhaps the last one.



    hen1rik, aye, good one.

  15. Auldheid from previous




    12:16 on 9 November, 2012




    Snake Plissken



    11:32 on 9 November, 2012



    Yup its an attempt to ramp up the reconstruction argument on the fundamental basis that in order to survive Scottish football needs sectarianism as its basis to make it work. This of course flies in the face of the reality that sectarianism was the underelying cause of its failure, but hey lets not let reality poke its nose in.



    At club level the St Johnstone Chairman pointed at the root cause of club’s problems the other day, i.e players wages and the need for a wage ceiling. UEFA FFP provides the principles and formula for a wage ceiling that ALL national associations should adopt, but of course the EPL want their cake whilst eating us and will not play ball. However God knows when that particular bubble will burst so the reconstruction argument will gather force..



    Ultimately it will be down to supporters to drive change by changing what we want to support – glory or community, although our result the other night must have big club chairmen thinking – if Celtic on their budget can beat Barcelona and maybe qualify for the CL qrtr finals, why are we paying over the odds in wages. (Man City owners if they had brains should be asking.this).Its a Moneyball thing.On top of that Man City (again) should be asking why was our crowd so low and dead?



    However everyone has to play their part not least the players who now “own” the game. It is time they and their agents became soccer socially responsible.





    PS where the “£!%^ Link Creator?

  16. Auldheid from previous




    12:23 on 9 November, 2012







    This is where supporters have to face reality. I put it to a good Hearts man on TFSM that selling Tynecastle and ground sharing with Hibs would benefit both clubs and keep money in football with no leakage to rugby.



    He thought that a step too far,but Murrayfield was ok. I’m a pragmatist who can understand how much folk are bound by their feelings and attachments but cannot comprehend the unwillingness to try something that might work instead of holding on to something that clearly does not.



    The hardest thing in life though is letting go and letting the life cycle pedal on.

  17. sipsini – Do you have another computer readied for the podium.hh



    My other computer is a ZX81. (thumbsup)



    kitalba – I would never dream of telling Neil Lennon his nasal hair was showing.



    Makes sense tae Kit, and it makes sense tae me. (thumbsup)

  18. So it’s back to oul claes and purridge is it?


    Jim Traynor will be ecstatic as his prediction starts to materialise.


    He will dine on mince and tatties on this.

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