Hearts: Club 9 Sports withhold funds for HMFC Ltd bid

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Tynecastle Stadium

The company behind one of the bidders for Hearts, HMFC Ltd, is withholding £5m that was to be used to buy the club, BBC Scotland has learned.

A dispute has arisen between US-based Club 9 Sports and UK businessman Bob Jamieson, who has tabled an offer on behalf of HMFC Ltd.

Club 9 Sports are believed to be looking for a 75% shareholding.

The dispute places the HMFC Ltd bid in doubt, with

Fans' group the Foundation of Hearts and , are also seeking to take control at Tynecastle.

The HMFC Ltd bid is in the region of £2.5m up front with a further £2.5m being made available for working capital.

Hearts have debts of £25m - owed to companies formerly owned by Vladimir Romanov, who first invested in the club in 2005.

Ukio Bankas, who are also in the hands of administrators, is owed £15m and Tynecastle Stadium is held as security for the liability. The Lithuanian bank has a 29.9% shareholding in Hearts.

An administrator with the power to sell UBIG's majority shareholding will only be appointed if the investment company's bankruptcy is formalised in Lithuania. Hearts owe UBIG £10m.

An exit from administration via a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) can only be achieved if those due 75% or more of the total debt accept a pence in the pound offer.