Hearts in administration: Club cannot rule out 'newco' route

Hearts joint administrator Trevor Birch says the club cannot rule out entering a "newco scenario".

Birch says that route is a "last resort" to be pursued if the issue with UBIG's proposed administration and shareholding remains unresolved.

The Lithuanian firm, which is claiming insolvency, owns 50% of Hearts' shares and is also a major club creditor.

"There may be a delay in the process and therefore you may have to look to plan B," Birch told BBC Radio Scotland.

"I've been at pains to say that we have to be prepared for that.

That is absolutely last resort but if that is the only way of circumventing the share issue then that's what you'd have to look at

Trevor Birch Hearts joint administrator

"If it becomes a total stumbling block and an impossibility to deliver the shares via a CVA [company voluntary arrangement], then you may need to look at the newco scenario [transfer of club assets to a new company].

"That is absolutely last resort but if that is the only way of circumventing the share issue then that's what you'd have to look at."

Birch hopes UBIG will be placed in administration in August, which would make the selling of Hearts more straightforward once they identify a preferred bidder.

Meanwhile, Birch has been heartened by the fact that Hearts should reach their target of selling an extra 3,000 season tickets soon.

"I think we're going to crash through that barrier this weekend so it's just been a magnificent effort from the fans," he said.

"The club has gone to the fans continually over the last year and to come forward again and commit at the level they have done is just a fantastic effort."

And Birch believes the revenue raised via the additional season ticket sales will help the club to trade normally for the rest of the year.

"Apart from the failed transaction, as it were, then hopefully we're back to normal operating," he added.

"The fans, having come forward, has given us the cash to keep it going; we've got money coming in in August from the SPFL and hopefully that will give us the breathing space to get through certainly until January."