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Scottish Premier League

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Hearts closer to exiting administration

Hearts should be out of administration before the end of April after a deal to transfer shares to prospective owners Foundation of Hearts was finalised. The club’s administrators, BDO, confirmed today that Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG) have formally agreed to hand over their 50 per cent stake, pending legal approval in Lithuania.

Should Celtic have splashed out?

Would Celtic have avoided an early exit from the Champions League, and a failure to get a consolation place in the Europa League, if they had spent more on transfers?   Possibly, but an alternative view is that they have followed a prudent policy of living within their means.

A more fundamental question is how far a team can develop commercially and on the pitch within Scottish football.  But that is a question that has been asked for a long time and has never found an answer.

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.