Football - Job losses devastate Locke

Hearts boss Gary Locke admits waving goodbye to 14 staff members made redundant by the stricken club's administrators was more painful than two devastating knee injuries.

PA Sport

The former Tynecastle skipper ruptured knee ligaments in the 1996 Scottish Cup final his side lost 5-1 to Rangers.

The same injury sustained in March 1998 denied him the chance to gain revenge on the Ibrox side as he missed their 2-1 victory in the 1998 final.

But the 38-year-old says the scars of two career-saving operations pale in comparison to the human cost of the Jambos' descent into administration.

BDO is now in charge of the club's operations but its first action was to lay off 14 of the club's backroom workforce.

Locke told Press Association Sport: "The last few days have been as bad as I've had in football. I've had a couple of cruciate injuries and they were devastating. But they just don't compare to anything I experienced on Thursday.

"To see so many great people lose their jobs was heartbreaking."

Hearts owe £25million to Lithuanian companies UBIG and Ukio Bankas. Both firms were formerly controlled by ex-Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov but UBIG is now waiting to be put into administration after its assets were frozen,

while Ukio Bankas will soon be liquidated after a Kaunas court declared it insolvent.

The bank, however, has a floating charge on Tynecastle and other club assets as security for the £15million it is due, leading to fears that the stadium could be sold off to repay its own debts.

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