Football - Lennon laments 'sad' Hearts saga

Neil Lennon claims the loss of Hearts from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League would leave Scotland's top-flight without its second and third biggest clubs.

PA Sport

Fears that the Gorgie club could be relegated grew after majority shareholder UBIG, a Lithuanian investment firm, was on Thursday listed on a government website of insolvent firms after reportedly declaring itself unable to meet its liabilities.

If deemed to fall foul of the SPL's insolvency rules, Hearts would be deducted a third of last season's total - 18 points - which would see them in the Irn-Bru First Division next season. A decision which will be taken when the SPL board meet on Monday.

Ahead of the last Clydesdale Bank Premier League game of the season against Dundee United at Tannadice on Sunday, the Hoops boss examined the possible demise of the Tynecastle club with the experience of rivals Rangers, who emerged in the Irn-Bru Third Division last season after their descent into liquidation, in mind.

"We would be losing probably the third biggest club," he said. "We have already lost the second biggest so it doesn't look good.

"It is a pretty sad situation. It is a great club with a great tradition and this time last year they were in a cup final.

"I don't know, the powers-that-be will maybe have contingency plans in place. I don't know if another club will be promoted, Morton maybe, I don't know. I only became of aware of the serious nature of it late last night.

"I don't have a crystal ball, I don't know what sort of damage it will do to the SPL, but there will be an outcry.

"Hearts have a decent support for a club in Scotland and to lose that would be pretty damaging."

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