Burley confident Hearts will survive

  • Last Updated: November 13 2012, 17:13 GMT

Former Hearts manager George Burley is confident the club will survive amid reports a consortium of Edinburgh businessmen were preparing to make a move to buy the club from majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov.

George Burley: Believes a solution will be found

Hearts are working towards a Friday deadline to pay a £450,000 tax bill to stave off a winding-up order from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

That is just one of many financial issues at Tynecastle and a £1.75million tax case was revealed when a £1.79m share issue was recently launched, a scheme which could result in fan ownership.

Despite all the problems and Hearts' perilous position, Burley believes a solution will be found.

"Hearts may be the third biggest club in Scotland so it would be a disaster," Burley told Sky Sports News.

"Hopefully they'll come through it and build from there.

"I spoke to one or two people at Hearts, in the boardroom, on Saturday. I think they're optimistic.

"A club like Hearts, such a big club, I'm optimistic things will come right."

Former Hearts player Gary Mackay is one of many aiming to raise funds and has claimed a contribution from Harry Redknapp, who took Tottenham to Tynecastle in the Europa League in August 2011.

Mackay told Sky Sports News: "Scott Crabbe and I, ex players, have set up the 1874 fighting fund and the response we've had has been wonderful.

"A lot of ex-players and Harry Redknapp, the ex-Tottenham Hotspur manager, they've all pledged £100 to kick start that fighting fund.

"We'll pick up debts, because there are one or two debts and we'll have money in our coffers to work with on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis."

Hearts used their official website to encourage supporters to fund the club using "official channels".

A statement said: "Heart of Midlothian FC today urged fans keen to help the club financially to do so through official channels.

"The Tynecastle outfit has been overwhelmed by the supporters' response following last week's call-to-arms in the wake of HMRC's Petition to wind up the club for an outstanding tax bill of £449,000.

"The Gorgie faithful were urged to buy tickets for upcoming home games against St Mirren, Celtic and Aberdeen, while the 2012 Share Issue also offered another avenue to get involved in urgently raising much-needed funds.

"A number of other organisations have recently been set up with the aim of persuading Jambos to part with their cash in a bid to help Hearts but the club would like to urge fans to act with caution before going down that route."

A Hearts spokesperson added: "There are now 10 organisations actively involved in seeking funds from fans.

"We have dealt with some of these groups before but others have only recently been created and the club has no direct relationship with them.

"For that reason, we would urged supporters to please think twice before parting with their hard-earned money. We would reiterate that the current Share Offer, the recently set up Donation Line - 0131 200 7280 - and buying tickets for upcoming matches at Tynecastle are the best ways to guarantee that the money handed over will go towards club activities."

HMRC would not answer specific questions on the Hearts case.

An HMRC spokesperson said: "HMRC does not initiate winding up of football clubs or any other business lightly. "However we will not hesitate to do so when that is the right way to protect the country's tax revenues and other creditors from those who trade whilst insolvent and run up debts that they simply cannot pay.

"It is only fair that all football clubs pay the tax that is due.

"Tax deducted from the wages of players and support staff, such as ground keepers, physiotherapists and receptionists must be paid over to HMRC - that is the law and there is no excuse for treating tax money as working capital."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week