15 Nov 2012

Hearts dismiss approach from businessmen

1:16 pm on 15 November 2012

Financially troubled Scottish Premier League football club Hearts has dismissed a takeover approach from a group of local businessmen.

The Edinburgh club, where Lithuanian Vladimir Romanov is the main shareholder, made an appeal last week for emergency financial help from fans.

Hearts, who have total debts of $50 million, face a winding-up order over a tax bill and the deadline is Friday morning.

They are open to allowing fans the chance to take ultimate control of the club but dismissed an approach from a consortium by a group fronted by businessman Alex Mackie.

Scottish Cup holders Hearts, founded in 1874, have appealed to supporters to sign up to a share issue designed to raise more than $3 million and to buy tickets for home games starting with the match against St Mirren this weekend.

Rangers are the biggest casualties of a financial crisis facing the Scottish game. The Glasgow club are relaunching from the fourth tier this season after they collapsed under debts earlier in the year.