Football: Fans eye takeover of financially troubled Scottish Premier League club Hearts

LONDON (AFP) - A fans' group on Tuesday said it was looking for support for a possible takeover of financially troubled Scottish Premier League club Hearts, which have signalled their intention to go into administration.

The Edinburgh club, whose entire squad is up for sale in a desperate bid to raise much-needed cash, announced on Monday that they had served a court notice of their intention to appoint an administrator.

Local lawmaker Ian Murray, who heads the Foundation of Hearts group, described the move as "the darkest day in the history of Heart of Midlothian Football Club" but vowed that they would survive.

"A club with a history as rich and proud as any in the world, now only us, the supporters can ensure Hearts has a future, and not just a future, but a future we can be proud of," Murray, who represents the Edinburgh South constituency said late Monday.

"There has been speculation upon speculation as to potential bidders for the club but that is all that it has been.

"The only real and credible buffers at this stage are the Foundation of Hearts and that is why we are asking every Hearts fan for their support."

Hearts were last week served with a winding-up order over an unpaid 100,000-pound (S$196,000) tax bill, despite the majority of the sum being repaid and were hit with a transfer ban after failing to pay players' salaries on time.

The club is 25 million pounds in debt to two Lithuanian companies once controlled by majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov which hold large stakes in the club but are now being declared insolvent.

Should Hearts be in administration by the start of the 2013/14 season in August, they would be docked 15 points, according to Scottish Premier League rules.