sport

Deans: Fans must save Hearts

Former Hearts chairman Leslie Deans believes fans need to focus on saving the financially stricken club.

The Tynecastle board have urged supporters to buy tickets and subscribe to a share issue to help fend off a winding-up order over a 450,000 tax bill.

The club have met a number of other similar orders in recent years but majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov has since pulled back from the club and is not providing the funding he once was, despite the fact the club continue to live beyond their means.

Hearts have warned the home match against St Mirren on November 17 could be their last game and Deans has urged supporters to heed the call for emergency backing.

Deans told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "The financial situations shouldn't have been allowed to get as bad as it has.

"But the reality is, leave aside whose fault it was, leave aside responsibility for it, the important thing is to save Hearts from going to the wall.

"Hearts were effectively living beyond their means. Romanov bankrolled the club, he brought players like Roman Bednar and Rudi Skacel and others who were probably at a level above what Hearts could realistically afford.

"But then the lifeline funding stopped and once Hearts have been saved the future has got to be done differently. Hearts, like any other football club, have got to spend no more than they earn and run the club on that basis not rely on any outside sugar daddy for funding, but be self sufficient.

"A new buyer would be desirable, highly desirable. Vladimir Romanov made it clear that he wanted out and would be happy to sell his shares, whether that be one individual, whether that be a consortium, whether that be a fans group, remains to be seen. But I think inevitably a new buyer will emerge.

"Hearts have been around, they have been an important part of the fabric of Scotland's capital city for 136 years, Hearts can not be allowed to die."