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Scottish Leagues

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Supporters Takeover At Berwick Nears

Berwick Rangers is a unique club as it is located in the English borders towns (which has had a convoluted and turbulent history) but plays in the Scottish League. The club has been through a difficult phase and negotiations for a takeover by a consortium headed by the Supporters' Trust have been protracted. Initial offers of £20,000 and £30,000 to secure a 51 per cent stake were rejected. The Supporters Trust has invested £30,000 in the club since 2003. It is thought that if the deal goes through current chairman Robert Wilson could invest in another club.

What Relegation From The SPL Means

The impact of relegation from the English Premiership is a familiar story, but what about the implications of being relegated from its Scottish counterpart? The absence from the fixture list of matches against the Old Firm can create a serious financial shortfall for relegated clubs. Relegation leads to an almost immediate loss of £1.5m. Relegated clubs are provided with a £250,000 parachute payment by the SPL during their first season in the First Division, followed by £125,000 the following year.

Heart of Midlothian Sort Out Pay Problems

Last week weekly paid players at Hearts didn't get paid and those on monthly salaries faced delayed payments, but the problems should all have been sorted out today. Hearts maintain that the failure to pay employees was down to a technical problem. It appears that the problem arose when owners Ukio Bankas Investment Group, who regularly deposit money into Hearts' bank account, stopped making payments earlier this month. HBOS, who have their own problems, refused to let the overdraft rise above £100,000.

The Future of Scottish Football

In many ways Scottish football has never been in better shape. Per head of population, more of Scotland's inhabitants pay to watch top-flight football in their country than anywhere else in Europe. In 2004-5, 73 per cent of SPL players were Scottish. However, when one is talking about Scottish football, one naturally focuses on 'The Old Firm' because they dominate the game far more than the top four do in England. On the face of it, they are doing well. In Europe, Celtic reached the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in 2007, losing to eventual winners AC Milan.

Hearts Debt For Equity Plan

Hearts' debt could be reduced by £12m if a 'debt for equity' plan is ratified at an extraordinary general meeting on July 31. The proposal, announced by Vladmir Romanov, the club's majority shareholder, would see UBIG, the Lithuanian bank of which Romanov is also a majority shareholder, purchase over 34 million new ordinary shares at 35p each, effectively increasing their stake in the Tynecastle club from around 82 per cent to approximately 95 per cent.

Dunfermline FC's Problem

Dunfermline no longer own their ground and chairman John Yorkston, while insisting the club is in no danger of moving into administration, has warned the 11 players out-of-contract at the end of this season they'll have to take big pay cuts if they want a deal. Indeed, Dunfermline Building Society, the largest in Scotland, offers two 'soccer saver' accounts: for Celtic and Rangers fans. That just about says it all.