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Scottish Premier League


Fan group named as preferred bidders at Hearts

The Joint Administrators of Heart of Midlothian FC plc have today named the bid submitted on behalf of Foundation of Hearts (FOH) as preferred bidder for the club. BDO have effectively dismissed a rival offer from Angelo Massone’s Five Stars Football Limited.

Hearts bidders need to come up with more cash

Hearts face the prospect of liquidation unless someone outstrips present offers for the club by millions, administrator Bryan Jackson has warned. Jackson's counterpart looking after the affairs of the club's owners, Ukio Bankas, has said none of the bids received for Hearts are acceptable. And the bank's administrator has warned that liquidation is a possibility.

Hearts administrator gets a boost

Administrator Bryan Jackson is optimistic Hearts will reach the season ticket sales needed to keep the ailing club afloat. Accountancy firm BDO took control of the Edinburgh club last week and set a target of selling 3,000 more season tickets to keep going over the summer.

'Sales started off very well. I understand we got to nearly 500 by yesterday,' Jackson told BBC Scotland. 'This was more than we'd anticipated and it shows the demand is there.'

Hearts had already sold 7,000 season books before entering administration but the money raised through those sales has already gone

Hearts enter administration

Hearts have served notice of their intention to appoint an administrator. The Edinburgh club have debts of £25m - owed to Lithuanian-based companies formerly owned by Vladimir Romanov - who are themselves facing insolvency.

Last week, the entire Tynecastle squad was put up for sale, with Hearts seeking £500,000 to keep them running over the summer. It means Hearts will start next season in the top flight with a deduction of 15 points. Hearts owe £15m to Ukio Bankas, which has been declared bankrupt.

Hearts crisis deepens

Hearts have been banned from signing any new players by the Scottish Premier League. The club failed to pay some of its players their July wages, incurring a transfer embargo and the possibility of further punishments at a later date. The wages were due on Friday and it is not yet clear how many players have received their pay, or what percentage has been paid.

Moving beyond the burger

Catering in UK football stadiums faces a shake up after US stadium catering provider Centerplate acquired loss-making British company, the Lindley Group. They have catering contracts at Celtic Park and White Hart Lane among other locations.

The new owners are seeking to move catering at grounds beyond the traditional cup of Bovril (not that many people drink that any more), the lukewarm pie or the burger of dubious provenance. Indeed, some fans have been saying 'Neigh' to them following the horse meat scandal.

Hearts owner goes bust

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov has virtually all his assets and money wiped out after his bank Ukio Bankas was placed into interim administration.   Romanov has said that he will sell 51 per cent of the club to supporters' groups and he doesn't care about the price.    Hearts are currently around £25m in debt.

BT buys ESPN's sports channels

BT is buying ESPN's sports television channels in the UK and Ireland as it steps up its challenge to BSkyB in the pay-tv market.   Last June BT agreed to pay £738m for the rights to 38 Premier League matches including 18 'first picks'.   The move removed ESPN's status as the only rival to Sky and made the US company's withdrawal from the British market more likely.

Financial boost at Celtic

Celtic have reported a big boost to their turnover and profits in the six months to December 2012.   The profit from trading was just under £15m compared with a near break even figure of £0.18m in the same period last year.   Turnover increased by 71 per cent from £29.27m to £50.06m.  Net bank debt fell from £7.05m to £130,000 making the club virtually debt free.

Slim profit for Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock made a trading profit of £11,384 for the year ended 31 May 2012, down £186,597 from the previous year.   In the present state of Scottish football, any surplus reflects credit on the club concerned.

Kilmarnock's net debt rose by £83,000 to £9.84m.    This is less than the value of Rugby Park at £11.3m. Turnover went up by £300,000 to £7.4m.    Player and staff costs were just over £3.5m, a figure that has been stable for four years.   This is less than 50 per cent of turnover, a recommended target that few clubs achieve.