English League 1

Ibehre staying with Colchester

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Mon, 17 Jun 2013 17:43:00

Stricken Scottish Premier League club Hearts have signalled their intention to go into administration.

The Tynecastle club are in the process of lodging papers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh and have approached accountancy firm KPMG to act as their administrators.

A club spokesman said: "We are not in administration yet but we have served our intention to appoint administrators."

Hearts were faced with a winding-up order last week after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs threatened action over an unpaid ?100,000 tax bill - although the majority of that sum has been paid.

And the entire playing staff has also been placed on the transfer list as Hearts look to make further cuts to try and save money.

Hearts were also hit with an immediate transfer embargo by the Scottish Premier League last Friday after admitting they could not afford to pay their players.

The news came just 24 hours after the Gorgie board released a statement saying they had entered a "critical" stage in their battle to pay off debts of ?25million as well as financing tax and running costs.

The situation at the two Lithuanian companies which hold large stakes in the club has also raised fears for the future of the Edinburgh club.

Majority shareholder UBIG - which owns a 50 per cent stake in the club - and 29.9 per cent shareholder Ukio Bankas were both once controlled by Vladimir Romanov but are now in the midst of being declared insolvent by Kaunas-based authorities.

Ukio Bankas - which lost an appeal against liquidation last Wednesday - is due ?15million by Hearts, who also owe another ?10million to UBIG.

Politician Ian Murray is leading the Foundation of Hearts supporters' group who hope to buy the club, with a formal bid expected to be lodged by the end of the month. There is also interest from a number of other parties, including a Scandinavian consortium.

The club are now likely to face a 15-point penalty when the new SPL season kicks off on Saturday, August 3.

Top-flight rules state any club suffering an insolvency event will be stripped of 10 points or a third of their previous season's tally, whichever is the greater.

Hearts finished the 2012/13 campaign in 10th place with 45 points.

The 30-year-old netted four goals during a three-month loan spell from MK Dons over the first half of last season before rejoining the U's in January on a permanent deal until the end of the campaign.

He went on to hit the net a further four times and not only top the Essex outfit's scoring chart but also net their Player of the Year award following a successful battle to avoid relegation.

And manager Joe Dunne's hopes of pushing on next term have been given a major boost with the news Ibehre has committed himself to the club for the next two years - before quickly catching a plane for their pre-season training camp in Ireland.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be signed up for another two years and, after last season, I'm looking forward to some good times here," he told United's official website.

"I'm also looking forward to meeting up with the lads. Not the hard running I'm sure we'll be doing over there, no-one likes that, but getting back with the lads will be good. I can't wait to crack on with the new season."

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