With the lack of transparency in the Scottish game, the plight of Hearts seems to be inevitable. HMRC has presented a petition to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to place the SPL club owned by Vladimir Romanov into liquidation later this month. It is understood that the Tynecastle club is facing the action from HMRC over unpaid PAYE and National Insurance going back several months, which is separate from their on-going troubles with the tax authority.
The latest dispute comes as Hearts are challenging a £1.75m bill at the First Tier Tax Tribunal relating to players loaned to the club by Lithuanian club FBK Kaunas, which is also owned by Mr Romanov. Hearts also struggled to pay some of their player’s wages for the last two months.
The Tynecastle club are teetering on the brink of financial ruin with only a share issue and a last desperate plea to the fans to come out in numbers and go to the home games to have any chance of keeping their heads above the waves for a few more months.
Hearts Football Club going out of business is not just bad news for the Scottish game but for the country and Scottish politics as a whole. Hearts are the third biggest team in Scotland and can claim the First Minister Alex Salmond as a fan, so it would look bad for the country and the independence movement if another Scottish football club were to sink without trace from our so-called national sport. Hearts, unlike Rangers, would almost certainly not recover and would be lost; and with this would be lost another part of Scotland’s identity.
Our national team is down the pan and without a manager after the SFA, run by the über failure Stewart Regan, finally accepted what the rest of us already knew: that Craig Levein was dead in the water and the World Cup finals in Brazil were never an option.
The Scottish game is on its knees and seems to be begging for someone to put it out of its misery. The fare served up is flavourless and no longer attractive to the paying public; viewing figures are at an all-time low, and with Celtic playing at home to crowds of under ten thousand in the recent Cup games in a stadium with 60,000 seats; it is clear that the public have already pushed the off button and have found something better to spend their money on.
Talking without saying anything is the new mantra in Scottish football and the problem facing the game in this country is not the lies from the football authorities; it is that no-one was willing to challenge the corrupt and incompetent cabal that runs the Scottish game. The Scottish football public deserves better, especially from those residing in the Scottish Government who stood by watching gleefully as Rangers imploded and did nothing.
Honesty has gone out of the Scottish game and the football public now look at the game and those who run it in the same way that they look at politicians; overpaid, underworked, corrupt and not worthy of our trust or support. These are difficult days not just for football fans in this country, but for those who say Scotland can go it alone. If we cannot even run our national game properly, how can we hope to go forward as a nation?
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