“Anti-Rangers” Hearts Fans on Collision Course with Administrator? – by AD Bryce

Joint Administrator Trevor Birch, along with his BDO colleague Bryan Jackson, is the man charged with leading Hearts out of their current financial predicament. Although he gained a high profile recently having “saved” Portsmouth Football Club from their administration, an analysis of his actions at the English club may create cause for concern for Jambos.

April 2013 and administrator Birch hails the good news, as he saw it, about the future of Portsmouth Football Club. He happily announced the deal that would see completion of the “purchase of Portsmouth Football Club,” a deal that “safeguards the club’s future”, that would set the stage for “the new owners to begin the urgent task of rebuilding the club”. The achievement was clear: “keeping Portsmouth Football Club alive despite what, at times, seemed like insurmountable obstacles.” Thanks in no small measure to his efforts, “Portsmouth Football Club can once again look forward to the future with optimism”!

Trevor Birch

Trevor Birch

The message is very clear; the “club” had been saved!  But how exactly? The answer is described concisely in this “AccountancyAge” article:

“The administrators will now transfer the assets of the club, such as player contracts, to a new entity [Portsmouth Community Football Club Limited]. The original ‘club’ Portsmouth Football Club (2010) Ltd, remains in administration and will be liquidated shortly, with BDO partners to be appointed. ”

Portsmouth FC

So we have an old company/club, awaiting liquidation, transferring its assets to a new company/club. Hmm, sounds familiar…

Of course to followers of Scottish football it is very familiar, an old company/new company  asset sale forming the integral part of the scenario by which Rangers – the “club” – either died, or survived, financial meltdown, depending on your understanding of that word “club”. Is the “club” the legal entity that owns the players/stadium/training ground/fluorescent bibs etc., or is it those assets that constitute the “club”? Or both perhaps, depending on the context?

Everyone will have opinions, but some opinions are more relevant than others in this case.

Clearly, the views expressed by Trevor Birch, in the Portsmouth context, over what constitutes the football club’s survival, could not be more different to those adopted with considerable gusto by many Hearts fans, ever since terms like administration and liquidation entered the common vocabulary last summer with Rangers’ downfall. They’ve backed their principles, digging deep, coughing up a lot of money in the aim of prolonging the life of that particular legal entity where many would state their “club” begins, and ends.

Could these polar opposite positions cause conflict between fans and administrator down the line? The ‘liquidated company = dead club’ mantra has been embraced with such enthusiasm for 12 months, it would make it difficult to imagine the Hearts fans admitting they were mistaken all along. Birch has clarified that saving the current Hearts company/’club’ is his immediate priority, but that is no guarantee that a new company – and liquidation of the old company – could become his chosen vehicle for progress at some point.

Under such an outcome, would Birch be seen by the passionate Jambos as having saved Hearts, or the man who killed Hearts? Would he and his “new company” plan be backed, or barracked from the Gorgie streets? Either way, interesting times await for the Tynecastle club.

Posted by AD Bryce (@bryce9a)








Filed under Guest Posts, Hearts

48 responses to ““Anti-Rangers” Hearts Fans on Collision Course with Administrator? – by AD Bryce

  1. Colin McEwan

    As a jambo I can tell you that, although liquidation is always a threat, we are expecting a CVA to be agreed with Ukio Bankas and UBIG. You are correct in stating that many Hearts fans would not support a newco. In a recent Kickback poll 20% of respondents said they walk away. In reality, I would expect more than that since starting at the very bottom (Lowland League?) would be a real turn off.

    • I tend to agree with much of what you say. I think a CVA has a high possibility of success but it will come down to the floating charge on the stadium and I think only the fan trust bid would see it as necessary to continue on at Tyncastle.

    • Monti

      “expecting a cva to be agreed”…..did you get a wink or a nod?

      • Neither, I am going for the eternal optimist approach as I did for the first nearly 19 years of my life with only a Tennents 6’s win to shout about.

        The only time i have either received a wink or nod in my life was during that game at primary school when a selected kid is a wink assassin and takes you out by you guessed it, winking at you.

  2. Either way I think the average Jambo knew the writing has been on the wall for a long time and have put in great efforts throughout this trying time and if it means getting more say in the club and getting rid of such poor executive management, they may be more agreeable to the ‘newco’ idea. Especially with ‘the Emperors new clothes’ attitude taken by the majority of football authorities and the msm toward the club at Govan, in fact it would presumably seem to give a certain credence to the claims of continuity of history by the bluenoses. I don’t see it being an unsurmountable reason for Hearts fans to desert over this possible change of birthday and all that entails.

  3. lordmac

    HOPE HEARTS KEEP THERE history in tack, for first offending, BUT NOT FOR A SECOND OFFENSE. this could be handy should CELTIC ever need a way back into the game, and i cant see a problem with that should it happen, as we are all cozy with the way thinks are now.

  4. Apologies for being off topic but has anyone noticed that Fulham have been taken over by someone with off the radar wealth?

  5. cam

    For the sake of the game in Scotland,the jobs involved and the Hearts fans(even though they jumped on the Coyote’s integrity wagon),i hope that Hearts find a way out of the mess caused by mad Vlad.
    It will be interesting to see if Regan and his cronies apply the same mad hatter’s rules,but i don’t think the bigotry onslaught disguised as justice will gather much speed.
    An interesting(for some) view on what constitutes a football club/business,but at least Rangers don’t have to trouble themselves with petty rules of mere intellectual pygmies.
    We The Peepul, rise above nonsense like this and are untainted by all that has gone before.
    Ally is getting the chance to sign some players and once the illegal embargo is over it will be plain sailing to total domination over the ethnic minority team in the east.
    What bunch of huns are up next to pump the life out of the beggars?

  6. Marching on Together

    A s a Leeds fan, we had Birch as our Chief Exec between 2003-3004, after Peter Ridsdale stepped down, and he did a sterling job in cutting the debt, and keeping the club going until eventually it was sold to a new consortium. He would still be welcome back in Leeds. I remember the Leeds fans at one match singing “There’s only one Trevor Birch” – I actually think that it was at Fratton Park, if memory serves me correctly.

  7. cam

    What a great feelng ascending the escalator at Glasgow airport and seeing the Rangers shop overshadowing that purveyor of filth next to it,,,,thanks Chico, you gave my holiday a great start.
    Only had to suffer one Celtic towel taking the look off the hotel.Funnily enough,in this high class,family resort,it was the offspring of said towels owners,who had to be spoken to by management,regards normal civilized behaviour.Take their British passport off them is my solution!
    Wee Hooper is the next to be shunted out the door as the economic nightmare threatens to engulf the evil ones from the east.
    There’s trouble brewing at the Stade de Pish.

  8. Looks like our lady Charlotte has got Minty bang to rights!
    The Big Hoose o cards is too near the draught.

    • cam

      Looks like pish mair like!

      How many goes do you want before you get summit right barca?
      I’m sorry but i can’t shake this image of you and Budweiser in latex ,covered in yoghurt,thrashing away at the keyboards in the throes of ecstasy.,,,Charlotte said this Bud,,,yeah Barca and what about this eh?.

      Bud and Barca do Dallas!,,,,,,Shug won’t be happy.

      • @Cam
        We do it with our eyes open! You should try it. Minty is going down! He has betrayed the gullible folk of Sevconia, and provided the nation with some hilarious entertainment.
        It’s not the same when you know the ending, but the suspense had to end sometime.
        I hope when the day of reckoning finally dawns, you can find the strength to show some dignity……..Like the Jambos have done.
        Sleep well bro, but keep on dreaming.

  9. cam

    We’re gonna be talking about the Rangers efforts on the pitch from now on.
    Just watch the panicometer rise as the Gers march back to glory.
    Lawwell’s nightmare scenario of Rangers bossing the game in Scotland, is gonna hit his fat erse like a freight train.

    C’mon,,,Craigie’s scary letter hasn’t had much effect.I rely on the rockets in here to let me know when the court case is due and how much it will cost and how much Craigie is gonna win and what Charlotte is saying,,,blah de blah de blah.
    Mick at least has an excuse for getting it all wrong,,,he’s as thick as two scaffie planks nailed together.
    The intellectuals who spend hours researching are looking more pathetic by the day.

  10. cam

    Celtic’s cash crisis hits home!

    Cam’s Scottish Daily Mail report,shows how Celtic’s deepening financial troubles,which are being hidden by a compliant MSM and succulent fish media culture,are affecting the ambitions of Barcelona fluke hero Tony Watt.
    Our award winning Vatican prober,has discovered Papal documents revealing how CFC’s finances,intertwined with council related debt, have forced the cash stricken club to beg for someone to take young Tony’s wages off the wage bill.

    In his usual hamfisted manner, coach Lennon then goes on to play amateur mind games with the thickest fans in Europe.

    • @Cam
      If you’ve got jet lag, away tae bed. You will be able to think straight after a good kip.

    • Monti

      Ooh that was all grown up……

    • Monti

      25m from Champions league, 12.5 for Wanyama & possibly 5m for Hooper…..all at a time Celtic are effectively debt free… “cash crisis”?…i would suggest not!
      Oh nearly forgot, if we qualify again this season, there’s another 20m……cash crisis indeed!! 😀

  11. cam

    hehehe,,,nite lads

  12. Fra

    With Mad Vlad in charge, it was always going to end in tears. Another egomaniac who thought the spending could go on forever and I include Vlad in there as well. Vlads out of reach of the authorities but (Ex Sir) Mintys collar is well within reach.

    Wee Fergus showed the way on how to run a successful club and still make a profit. Fergus, we salute you!!!!!

    Scottish football in the next 5 years will find its footing and once the toxic club has died again, then we can all move forward. No overspending as the fair play system will see to that, so Celtic being streets ahead of everybody else, will now be known as THE PEEPUL.

    Cameron, get it round ye and please get off they drugs you are on. Your becoming embarrassing to yourself and others with your delusions of superiority.

    Was it tears across the balconys in sunny Spain over what Minty has done to your former club. I wonder if wee Craigy Bhoy got a mention. Haha

    • 2 sides of the 1 coin

      And Fergus’s prize for doing so……was to be shamefully rounded on and booed when raising the League flag.

      TGFITW ? Chortle. 🙂

      • Fra

        2sides…..I believe Fergus’s foresight wasn’t shared by many supporters but with hindsight we aren’t too big to say Fergus was correct and we were wrong…..we wanted to spend cash we didn’t have but the bunnet could see the outcome and thank god he could. Just think, our club might have died like another club in Glasgow

        Can you say the same about Murray who bankrupt your club and made you the laughing stock of world football

        • Fra

          Ps…..the only chortling being done is coming from us at the absolute mess in which you find your dead club.

          • Monti

            In between chortling at the dead former sectarian football club, industrial sized plates of Jelly & ice cream are being demolished.
            Go on Wally, give Sally all the money!
            Comedy Gold!

      • Monti

        Interesting you bring Fergus into the debate, now there’s a man who paid debts….to the thin dime!
        That’s how to do a takeover, no fuss,no drama, just pay the debts & rebuild…..

  13. scot

    So we have an old company/club, awaiting liquidation, transferring its assets to a new company/club. Hmm, sounds familiar…

    the club ASSETS are transferring but the incorporated CLUB/CO is not itself moving on, and i think you will find these club assets are in actual fact the property of the company.

    Good luck to Hearts in their CVA endeavors. I have a feeling they will soon be joined by more clubs in the near future. One professional league of 16 would make financial sense in a country our size but if clubs wont amalgamate then Scottish football will remain a backwater. Players will only be attracted by an exciting league and we just don’t have that. Sure, a few players will come to Celtic with the draw of European football but they will not stay long… no matter how well CFC do domestically.

    • portpower

      Let them. We`re waiting. We are where we are because of the narrow minded.
      Picking a time and place is pot-luck from the semi-amateurs.
      They will forget what they learnt.

    • Monti

      Scot, many players who have come to play for Celtic, Van Dijk for example, a player spoken about highly in his native Holland, has said he knew about Celtic & it’s standing in the European & world game, the standard of league is not as important to ALL players,some yes I agree.
      To play for Celtic in the Champions league is something players might not experience again when they move on, Wanyama at Southampton for example.

      • scot

        Celtic will always attract players – both young up and coming players and those at the end of their careers who maybe like Celtic but are too good to play in the SP(F)L during their peak years.
        Hooper rather than Wanyama is a good example, he wants to test himself regularly at a higher level. I think Foster will also choose to move on rather than renew his contract. There is just no room for growth for Celtic in Scotland. As long as our domestic league remains as it is then i think Celtic have reached their level.
        Celtic’s history and worldwide fanbase will ensure that many players will consider a move to the club but only if there are limited offers for them – Celtic wont win a bidding war or match salary in england etc..

      • graham

        Monti ,
        He didnae wanyamanti go to Southampton !!
        Crapti pushed him oot the door for the doe

  14. portpower

    Diamonds a dozen in the hands.

  15. Monti

    Is there any Engineers on this blog?
    Just wondered how this heatwave impacts on asbestos?….:)

  16. Sidneyhibby

    Sidney is going to write a lot of letters over this, he is sure of that.

  17. Tom

    Its always sad how football clubs sometimes end up insolvent 😦 . I used to support Leeds United and a similar thing happened to them. Speaking of which, you guys should check out my site, it shows all the English clubs that had the same thing happen to them

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