Hearts insist rising debt is 'manageable'

Hearts insist they are not worried by a loss of £5.282m (€8.2m) for the financial year which incorporated last season.

Hearts insist they are not worried by a loss of £5.282m (€8.2m) for the financial year which incorporated last season.

The club’s wage bill more than doubled from £4.5m (€6.8m) to £10m (€15m) in the year to July 31 2006, on the back of squad strengthening, and total overall debt climbed to £28.4m (€43.1m).

However the Hearts board insist their operation is running smoothly.

In a statement, Hearts said: “The loss is in line with the board’s expectation and is part of an approved long-term business plan for the club where investment and increase of costs are required to improve the performance.

“Going forward the company has financial support from the main shareholder UBIG, helping the company to meet financial demands and manage debt.”

UBIG, controlled by Vladimir Romanov, have ’forgiven’ £2m (€3m) of club debt.

Hearts have recently revealed they plan to expand Tynecastle’s capacity by 6,000 seats, with the eventual aim of further stadium growth.

The club’s revenue ran into eight figures for the first time in the last financial year, rising by 22% to £10.277m (€15.6m), and attendances swelled by 34%, with commercial income up by 18%.

The club confirmed that spending on players had peaked, as improved financial results become a target.

“The Hearts board believes that current levels of debt are manageable and will be reduced as the club moves towards profitability,” said the statement.

“Higher revenues will be generated through increased participation in European competition, larger attendance in a redeveloped Tynecastle Stadium and greater sponsorship and retail income.

“Expenditure on the playing squad is unlikely to rise any further.”

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