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Hearts hit with winding-up order

Scottish Premier League side Hearts have been issued with a winding-up order over an outstanding tax bill of almost £450,000 and have told fans their investment is a "necessity" if the club is to survive.

Hearts say they are in the process of negotiating a payment plan with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs after a petition was submitted to the Court of Session in Edinburgh. The court decided to issue an order to wind up the club.

In a statement on the official Heart of Midlothian website, the club said: "We have guaranteed future revenues from forthcoming games and related broadcast income as well as additional guaranteed transfer income which will more than cover the outstanding amount stated in this petition.

"We would therefore be hopeful that HMRC will accept that winding up the club would be totally unnecessary."

Hearts may appeal against the decision to issue the winding-up order, while the court is able to rescind the order if new facts are made available.

But the club's statement made it clear that survival may only be possible with financial contributions from supporters.

It read: "Today the board of Heart of Midlothian plc is writing to you with the express wish that every supporter provides emergency backing for the club. This is not so much a request as a necessity."

The club is also contesting a £1.75 million tax bill, reported to relate to the failure to make PAYE and National Insurance payments.

Sanctions from the SPL about the matter will not be actionable immediately, giving Hearts time to settle the winding-up order.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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