Scottish Premier League - Hearts relief could be short-lived

Hearts survived initial investigations into reports of their majority shareholder's financial predicament but Scottish Premier League chairman Ralph Topping warned their respite could prove temporary.

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Scottish Premier League - Hearts relief could be short-lived

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Ralph Topping

The SPL board, in close consultation with its lawyers, decided on Monday there was no evidence to suggest UBIG had suffered an "insolvency event" before the season ended on Sunday.

Hearts thus avoided a points deduction that would have seen them instantly relegated.

UBIG was listed on a Lithuanian government website on Thursday as being among a number of insolvent companies but Hearts could face action if some form of court action is taken to confirm that status in the coming weeks.

Hearts would lose 15 points next term - a third of this season's total - if such action is taken while they could even be relegated if new evidence emerges about what happened in Lithuania last week, although the latter prospect appears highly unlikely.

SPL chairman Ralph Topping said: "We acted on the information that was available to us.

"That's not to say that other information will not come forward in the next few days or weeks ahead but we can only deal with what we have got at the moment and, on that basis, there is no insolvency event under our rules.

"We will need to see what develops on this situation, if indeed anything develops.

"You can appreciate the issues that are involved. We are dealing with Lithuania; we are dealing with Lithuanian law; we are dealing with interpretation of what's happened over there; and looking at it from the perspective of our rules.

"It's good news at the moment. With everything in Scottish football, there is temporary respite."

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