Hearts: administrators begin cuts at Tynecastle

Four players are likely to leave Hearts and 14 office staff have been made redundant as administrators cut costs in an attempt to save the club.

And BDO, who have taken over the running of the Edinburgh outfit, have set a target of selling 3,000 season tickets to fund the next few months.

If enough cash is raised in the next 14 days, BDO's Bryan Jackson says a "fire sale" of players could be avoided.

The names of players who will be leaving club have not been disclosed.

And Jackson's BDO colleague Trevor Birch indicated some players may be asked to accept a wage cut.

Our biggest problem right now is we're in June, there is no cash coming in and we have to generate cash

Bryan Jackson Hearts administrator

Jackson said two senior players and two youth players were "likely" to be departing and believes the players that remain would form a squad that can be "competitive".

"We have inherited a fairly bleak situation in terms there is no cash in the club at the moment and there is also no income due to the club," he said.

"We regret the job losses but we really had no choice because we have to reduce costs immediately.

"Seven thousand season tickets have already been sold and we've decided, to try and generate cash, we're going to make a plea to the fans to sell 3,000 season tickets within the next 14 days.

"If we reach that we will then be in a position where we can fund the club going forward, per the cash flows which we've carried out very quickly of course.

"But it does indicate that it would give us four months, which although a short timescale for trying to put everything into operation for a CVA, it makes it possible to keep the doors open and to honour those season tickets in that period.

"It should also mean we should be able to keep the rest of the squad together."

Hearts in financial trouble

  • Feb 2005 - Vladimir Romanov takes a controlling stake at Tynecastle
  • Season 2005/06 - Hearts finish second in the SPL
  • Hearts win Scottish Cup in 2006 & 2012
  • Wage delays become a regular feature from 2011 on
  • Nov 2011 - Romanov seeks a buyer for club, saying he has has invested more than £50m
  • October 2012 - SPL imposes registration ban for repeated late payment of salaries
  • May 2013 - Ukio Bankas declared bankrupt
  • May 2013 - UBIG unable to meet its liabilities
  • May 2013 - Hearts avoid points deduction as SPL rules UBIG has not suffered an insolvency event
  • June 2013 - Hearts enter administration

Jackson, who is also the administrator of Dunfermline and has been involved in several insolvencies in Scottish football, admitted the situation at Hearts, who have debts of around £25m, is "as desperate as anything I've seen".

"Our biggest problem right now is we're in June, there is no cash coming in and we have to generate cash," he explained.

"If the season ticket money comes in, and we'll also be looking for the usual alternative donations, it puts us in a situation where we won't be forced to fire sale players and we can try and keep the rest of the squad intact, which means we retain value.

"All we can do is the usual pleas to the fans to rally round.

"We know they've given and given but we're still asking to give again because there is really nowhere else for us to go.

"Our only other choice is to sell as many players as we can and operate that way.

"If the strategy of our plea to the fans in terms of season tickets and in terms of donations works, then we will be in a position where we can fund the club going forward and actually get into the opening season.

"The squad has already been cut quite drastically prior to our involvement so we're trying to retain what's left but if people won't buy season tickets then you're running out of options in how to generate money."

Meanwhile, Trevor Birch, who will be working with Jackson, revealed "three or four" parties are interested in buying the club.