Let's Not Lose Another Derby
Scottish football can do without another club going to the wall and starting again Hibs and Hearts derbies could be a thing of the past if the Tynecastle club cannot find an answer to their financial problems. Hibs manager Pat Fenlon for one fears that may be the case if Hearts do not manage to get some "emergency backing" after being hit with a winding-up order over a tax bill of almost £450,000. The winding up order could mean that the game against St Mirren on 17 November will be their last. The board have been honest with their fans over the grave predicament faced by the historic club after confirming action by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Hearts are trying to agree a deal with the tax authorities over the matter, which is unrelated to a £1.75million HMRC bill the club are also challenging at a tax tribunal. They 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". Fenlon was reluctant to comment on the situation at Tynecastle, but hopes a repeat of the situation at Rangers can be avoided.Pat Fenlon (c) Ger Harley | SportPix.org.uk
He said: "Derbies are the lifeblood of Edinburgh, Glasgow, everywhere else. There's one missing in Glasgow; it will be disappointing if there was one missing here. But it's nothing I can change or do anything about. I haven't read too much into it. It's not really my concern. It happens in football. We've just got to make sure that we're prepared here and how we do things here. We manage that right and we try to prepare this team every week to play football matches. That's my job. It's not my job to worry about what goes on at another football club." Hearts and Hibs were drawn to repeat of their meeting in the William Hill Scottish Cup final early next month after Monday's fourth-round draw. The game on 2 December may not have the same cache as the game in May but both sides will still want to emerge victors. Fenlon added: "The cup all the time throws up something special. We're looking forward to it, that's for certain. It's a fantastic game, we're at home, but there's a lot of football to be played before then. It's about maintaining our focus on making sure we pick up league points and when that comes around the Hearts game normally looks after itself." Former Hearts defender Alan Maybury, now a player at Hibs, expects the game to take place, despite the troubles at Tynecastle. Maybury made his debut for Hibs in the 1-1 SPL draw at Easter Road, seven years after leaving Hearts after a four-season spell which came to an end in January 2005. The Irishman said: "I don't know the ins and outs. It's a long time since I played there. I don't know too many of the players. It's a difficult spell for them at the moment. It's on the back of everything that's gone on with Rangers. Football clubs are important for the community, for the fans. No-one likes to see anyone losing jobs and livelihoods. I'll just see how it sorts itself out. These things tend to. They've had a couple of these before and (Vladimir Romanov, Hearts' majority shareholder) found the money to sort it out. It's not great that there's these winding up orders being served against them, but in the past he's found a way to sort things out."
Related Scotland News