Hearts director Sergejus Fedotovas has revealed the club face a £2million shortfall this season.
The club have less than a week to raise money to pay a £450,000 tax bill to stave off a winding-up order from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and Fedotovas says he has been encouraged by the initial response of the fans. But the crisis will not stop there as Hearts continue to spend beyond their means with the safety net of Vladimir Romanov's funding no longer available.
The club are relying on fans subscribing to a £1.79million share issue to see them through the campaign. Fedotovas said: "We are right in the middle of addressing a very important point in the life of this club. The share issue is about fixing the funding gap because we are spending more than we are earning."
He added: "All the revenues that come into this club are being paid on wages, taxes and the stadium and there is a £2million funding gap. The share issue aims to cover that and next season we have the possibility to restructure the playing squad and bring the costs even lower.
"That will be enough to get us to the summer, that will give us the opportunity to do some work inside the club to change a few things and either minimise this gap significantly or eliminate it."
Hearts released a number of high-earning players in the summer but, despite the backlog of tax demands, they still added to the squad in August with the re-signing of Ryan Stevenson.
And Fedotovas signalled they would only go so far in their cutbacks despite the club's £24million debt, most of which is owed to Romanov's companies.
"We still believe with the restructuring of the playing squad we can achieve the third (highest) budget in the country and get good players who can achieve good results," he said.
"The previous season the playing costs were £8million and now it's £4million. The income is pretty much the same. You can imagine the difference it makes."
Hearts also face a separate £1.75million tax bill but are disputing the demand - which centres on loan deals for Kaunas players - in a tribunal.
- Sports & Recreation
- Vladimir Romanov