One Team in Edinburgh?

23 Jun

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Hearts must be in trouble. Reports of Gary Locke contacting Ally McCoist looking from a glamour friendly game to raise funds for the beleaguered Gorgie club. Smacks of desperation.

The hypocrisy involved in Jam Tarts fans paying to see a club that they said they didn’t need and didn’t want to know this time last year to benefit their club. There are so many U turns happening in Gorgie that Hearts should rent out the Tynecastle pitch for the Waltzers! As for Rangers fans turning up to help Hearts, No chance. What next Stuart Regan and Neil Doncaster being paraded at Ibrox to be welcomed as returning heroes!

Ally I am sure is sympathetic to Gary Locke and staff. The Rangers Manager and Staff after all have first hand experience. Ally is a professional well liked guy and will be kind to any Hearts request but in Ally’s and anyone at Rangers mind the answer surely has to be a polite no. The fiasco that lead Rangers to start last season with not one pre season game will I fear be remembered in Ibrox. No one was willing to stump up a team for Rangers to play last year and that was not games for profit, Rangers wanted games for sporting fitness. Rangers only played in Brechin in the Ramsdens Cup due to a hastily cobbled together temporary license for SFA.

Now Heart of Midlothian Football Club seem like they are in their death throws. Poor season ticket sales, credit/debit card issues have left sales on the pittance scale rather than selling like hot cakes. Is this forgotten promises from fans or a administrational nightmare?

A CVA seems to be the last chance saloon for the Gorgie Faithful, a bar full of Administrators sounds like the least fun place you could go for a pint but I bet Gary Locke is on all the fruit machines hoping to win big. Hearts situation has now went international, around the CVA table will be representatives from Lithuanian Administrators for UBIG group. The mess is such that we now have Administrators talking to Liquidators about a CVA. Add in HMRC and you have a nightmare of figures. The Lithuanian accountants have to get all the money in to pay off a country faced with bailing out a Bank! The HMRC have to do the same. This does not sound like a amenable compromise situation for BDO. It seems with so many legal vested interests in the room that a compromise to find a pence in the pound Company Volunteer Agreement is less than realistic.

Tynecastles only assets some players and a stadia. Players who guided by SPFA will legally be able to sign for who they like as soon as a CVA fails and liquidation kicks in. Therefore the only asset is a area of prime real estate in expensive congested Edinburgh. Allied to administrators/liquidators legally empowered to get as much money as possible for creditors. The threat of Heart of Midlothian being disassembled is real. This could happen not for petty vendettas but because of a legal duty.

So Hearts liquidate and look towards G51 for a template for recovery. This template has been set by Rangers, SFA and SFL so the SFPL will obviously follow the same proceedures. Hearts will leave newly published fixture list to be replaced by Morton and the knock on will follow down the league’s as happened last year. Hearts will enter the 4th tier. The mantra will be to try to follow Rangers up the league’s. Hoping along the way that Hearts and Tyncastle don’t part company. Surely that’s an option?

Well no. Rangers have a vastly increased fan base than Hearts. This made Rangers, its brand and assets attractive to investors and media sponsors. Even with local and die hard support a Newco Hearts would struggle. Tynecastle is by far the biggest asset or to be exact the land Tynecastle sits on is prime for development. The spectre of property developers asset stripping haunts Hearts. The sale of its spiritual home means the heart will be stripped from Hearts.

That’s attractive to investors but a nightmare for Jam Tarts dwindling fans. Homeless, potless and languishing in the lowest division Hearts would be lucky not to become Clydebank or Third Lanark.

The recently new formed pyramid system voted in by Hearts and others means Hearts surely now if liquidated would go into the newly created LOWLAND LEAGUE!

This makes Hearts now what can best be described as suspect statements given to authorities two days before the end of last season that they were financially ok in spite of UBIG administration a folly. In addition the recent events at Tynecastle bring into question the validity of the Hearts last solvent league game against Aberdeen. If Hearts had beaten the Dons they would of had a extra piont deduction this season. Surely this played on someone’s mind as the Hearts team bus travelled up the M90/A90. Never has a game been played in Scotland with such a benefit for a team not to win. The hangover from the tail end of last season could haunt Hearts for years to come. At a minimum a new charge from the Beeks could be winging its way from Hampden.

Last season a points deduction due to administration would of deducted Hearts 18 points and consigned them to go down. Relegation one division is nothing compared to relegation of FOUR into a league that is in its first year with no track record media deal or sponsor. I can’t see a Hearts deal to parachute them into spfl4 like Rangers were last year going down well with the newly empowered teams of the Highland and Lowland Leagues.
Regardless of what lower league Broken Hearts play in, it will not entice any tv companies to screen their games. Their will not be a clamour to buy Hearts games. Sponsors will simply not care that Hearts have appeared in a lower division. There is little or no added value to them. Certainly not to the value of last year when Rangers fans freindly, income generating invasion of small towns last year. That’s solely due to a lack of numbers of Hearts fan base.

The fate of Hearts remains in the balance. Make no mistake the abyss awaits. Edinburgh could even become a one club city. Hibs could become the only representative in the league from our nation’s capital. Twenty-five years ago Edinburgh had three clubs in league football. Medowbank moved to Livingston, Livingston themselves went onto administration and now ply their trade in lower divisions. Hibs are in a group of tight rope walking clubs, one missed payment away from Administration.

One Club in Edinburgh? There is a real prospect of no football in Edinburgh? A laughable prospect? Well scoot back a year, Hearts fans laughed! Sadly now I fear Gorgie Road will be filled with tears.

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