Troubled Hearts plead for fan backing

PA Sport
Hearts fans have been urged by the club's board to help secure its future
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Hearts fans have been urged by the club's board to help secure its future

The Hearts board have beseeched their fans to come to their rescue in the coming days after warning a tax bill could spell the imminent end of the club.

The club pleaded for the "emergency backing" of their supporters after being presented with a winding-up order in the Court of Session over a £450,000 debt.

Hearts, who are challenging a separate £1.75million tax bill, are trying to negotiate a repayment plan with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs but they made the stark warning that the visit of St Mirren on November 17 could be the club's last game.

Hearts urged supporters to buy tickets for their next three home matches, against St Mirren, Celtic and Aberdeen, and invest in a recently-launched share issue, which they hope will bring in £1.79million.

In a dramatic appeal to supporters, the board said: "Our partners, our opponents, media, football bodies, many others - all are watching and judging how we will respond to the challenge.

"If we cannot demonstrate that we are united and we represent a force then there will be no due respect to the club from anyone around.

"Without your help now, we could be entering the final days of the club's existence."

The statement added: "The power is still in the hands of every Hearts supporter and for that reason we want to be as honest and transparent with you in the hope that you, too, believe that this club is worth saving.

"Now please make every effort you can to take any or all of the four steps outlined above and help this great sporting institution survive."

The club have survived a number of previous winding-up orders, including earlier this year, but owner Vladimir Romanov has stopped directly funding the club in recent months.

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