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Friday, June 21, 2013
Four bidders in running for Hearts

ESPN staff

The administrator of Hearts has said there are up to four potential UK bidders for the stricken Tynecastle club.

Hearts went into administration with debts of 25 million on Wednesday, having earlier put their entire first-team squad up for sale.

They have been deducted 15 points next season, and on Friday announced that they had cancelled the signing of defender Danny Wilson from Liverpool.

They have also been hit with a transfer embargo after failing to pay some of their players on time, and have made 14 members of staff redundant in an effort to trim costs.

But administrator Trevor Birch indicated that there could be light at the end of the tunnel, saying "three or four" serious bidders were waiting in the wings.

"I've not spoken to all of them yet - I've spoken to two of them - but I would say they're serious," he said. "There is a sustainable business here, but we have to get through the short-term. The solution has to be a quick sale."

Hearts are at risk of losing their Tynecastle stadium, which insolvent Lithuanian bank Ukio Bankas had held as security. The bank's liquidators could choose to sell both the stadium and its stake in the club, which is almost 30%.

Ukio Bankas and another Lithuanian company, UBIG, hold the majority of shares between them and are also major creditors.

Investment company UBIG, owed 10 million by the club, owns around half its shares. It could also be liquidated, meaning the shares may soon be sold on to the highest bidder.

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