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How To Buy A Worthless Club
You have to be some salesman to persuade people to buy something that is worthless.
MP Ian Murray who is leading a fan-backed bid to buy Hearts claims the club is virtually "worthless" but sees that as a positive for his group. With the club unable to pay all their players on the due date, and being hit with an immediate transfer embargo by the SPL, have also put all their players up for sale. The embargo came just 24 hours after the Gorgie board released a statement saying they had entered a "critical" stage in their battle to pay off debts of £25million as well as financing tax and running costs. The club need to find at least £500,000 to see the club through to the start of the new season. Murray is leading the 'Foundation of Hearts' (FoH) supporters' group who hope to buy the club and admits the current situation at UBIG - which owns a 50 per cent stake in the club - and 29.9 per cent shareholder Ukio Bankas has "muddied the waters". Both were formerly controlled by Vladimir Romanov but are now in the midst of being declared insolvent by Kaunas-based authorities. Ukio Bankas - which lost an appeal against liquidation on Wednesday - are owed £15million by Hearts with another £10million due to UBIG. However, Murray, who addressed 300 fans at Tynecastle meeting last week, suggested that the desperate nature of Hearts and their Lithuanian owners' balance sheets could work in his group's favour. The FoH have already signed up more than 4,000 fans promising between £10 and £100 a month to back their effort and hope to lodge an offer by the end of this month.Murray said "Given Thursday's statement and the club accounts, it's quite clear there is an on-going annual funding gap at the club that is quite substantial. That obviously has an effect on what the club is worth and I would go as far to ask whether the club is worth anything? From a hard-nosed business outlook, the club only has value in terms of its history, its share in the SPL and the assets that it holds. But given the funding gap it is only really worth what someone is willing to pay for it. From a FoH point of view, though, we are in a better shape than we have ever been. We have more than 4,000 fans pledging cash to us and we are ready to go."
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