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Foundation of Hearts chairman: hard work starts now

Hearts could formally exit administration as soon as Wednesday - but their supporters have been told to never forget how close the club came to extinction.

A hearing to finalise the end of the club's insolvency saga is due to take place at the Court of Session in Edinburgh at some point this week.

It will bring to an end a year of uncertainty for the Tynecastle outfit. The club entered administration in June last year, owing almost £30million.

But Foundation of Hearts (FoH) chairman Ian Murray MP hopes the final stamp of approval on the club's survival bid will mark the beginning of a brighter era at Gorgie.

New chairwoman Ann Budge has already finalised a sale and purchase agreement for her £2.5million rescue package, after earlier agreeing deals with Ukio Bankas and UBIG, the Lithuanian-based former creditors and major shareholders.

Budge will eventually cede control to the FoH, the fans group with 8,000 paying members who moved to secure the club's future when it was under serious threat.

But Murray insists the club - relegated to the Scottish Championship after they were penalised 15 points - cannot repeat the mistakes of Vladimir Romanov's reign by spending more than they earn as they attempt to fight their way out of the second flight.

The Labour representative for Edinburgh South said: "Administration has been a bruising, frustrating process and getting the club out of administration has been very, very difficult. But now that we are through that the hard work starts now because this club needs to be rebuilt.

"I think down the line supporters will need to reflect on where we were on June 19 last year when we went into administration and how far we have come since then. It hasn't been an easy process but it can be easy to forget what has just happened

"We have to remind fans and say: 'Look be patient, you've been incredibly patient up till now but It's going to be a huge rebuilding process that we're going to have to go through at the club'.

"We have been quite fortunate to get out of the administration process in the shape we have done and we can never forget that. But let's now look to the future."

With the future of the club no longer in doubt, the Hearts support can now turn their thought once more to the prospects of their team.

Demotion from the Premiership looked inevitable as soon as the club was hit with a points penalty and signing embargo at the beginning of last term.

Those registration restrictions will only be lifted following the rubber stamping of the administration-exit papers but the club has already been linked with moves for released Hamilton striker James Keatings and former Dundee United midfielder Morgaro Gomis.

But Murray does not expect to see new head coach Robbie Neilson and director of football Craig Levein parading a succession of big names this summer.

He said: "We have to live within our means in the Championship. It's going to be tight.

"Robbie and Craig are working on building a team to win the Championship next season but nothing can happen until we are out of administration. We are still under a transfer embargo.

"As soon as we are out of administration there will be some good announcements coming I'm sure for the fans."

The FoH needs to provide £1.4million worth of working capital to Budge's team for each of the next two years just to keep the club afloat.

And Murray appealed to supporters who have yet to sign up to the FoH scheme to help out.

Speaking as it was announced that FoH will sponsor the club's away strip next term, he said: "It's going to be difficult but everyone is up for the challenge.

"Of course, because we are starting from a low base, every single pound that comes into the club or the foundation makes that job easier.

"We would just encourage people who haven't pledged yet, if they can, to see the direction of the club that we are going in and what we are trying to achieve here, and to back us because the more they do that the easier it becomes."

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