Sergejus Fedotovas has admitted that a cut-price sale of Hearts could be possible if Vladimir Romanov were to retain Tynecastle.
Despite three bids from Alex Mackie's Foundation of Hearts and a £4.5m offer from a consortium led by Angelo Massone, nobody has met the owner's valuation of the club, which currently has debts of £24m. However, director Fedotovas suggested one way to ensure a favourable price would be for UBIG to retain ownership of Hearts' home and lease it back to new owners. Tynecastle, in the last accounts, was valued as a fixed asset worth over £16m.
Fedotovas explained: "As a possible option, the club may be sold and the stadium may remain in ownership of UBIG and leased to the club. In this way, the value of the deal for the football club only will be reduced and debt repayment will be linked to the stadium. Any reasonable proposal will have a way forward given it reflects the value of the club and is acceptable in principle. But the offers which we have received were opportunistic rather than reasonable."
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Fedotovas also warned Hearts fans that, despite their efforts in purchasing shares, the club is less than halfway to reaching their required funding. Supporters have raised over £600,000 for their club in recent weeks and the make steady progress towards a target of £1.79m by December 19, when the share issue expires. However, a £450,000 tax bill is due on December 3, while there are continued shortfalls in wages and other outgoings.
Meanwhile, John McGlynn admits he couldn't believe that some Celtic fans rounded on counterpart Neil Lennon during the defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the weekend. The Hearts manager was astounded Lennon came in for stick so soon after delivering one of the club's best ever results in the 2-1 home win over Barcelona in the Champions League.
"I was surprised because he's doing a great job," said McGlynn. "Over two games against Barcelona what happened wasn't a fluke, they had a narrow defeat over there and then beat them at Celtic Park. It's just the way things have gone. When you lose a football match, people are not happy. There is always a knee jerk reaction at 5pm and I can understand it, I'm not saying fans shouldn't react. But I think that they have to look at the bigger picture, no matter where you are."
McGlynn, who has lost full-back Danny Grainger for up to three months because of a cruciate ligament injury suffered in the weekend draw at Motherwell, has pored over DVDs of Celtic's weekend defeat to devise a plan for this evening's encounter.
He added: "I've been looking at stuff from their game and they had chances. I realise there has been a reaction to that defeat. They're coming here as a wounded animal and we have to be ready to bear the brunt of that."