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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 August, 2004, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Hearts talk with McGrail
Tynecastle Stadium
McGrail is determined to prevent Hearts moving to Murrayfield
Hearts chairman George Foulkes has confirmed that he is in talks with shareholder Robert McGrail about the sale and lease back of Tynecastle.

But Foulkes insists that it is only one of a number of options being considered for the long-term future of the club.

"If they come up with something concrete, it is something that the board would have to look at, but they have to give us more details," he said.

"It will be looked at by the working party, which will report in December."

McGrail aims to prevent the club sharing the national rugby stadium at nearby Murrayfield next season after selling Tynecastle.

But, while Foulkes stressed that he could not give further details of discussions because of Stock Exchange rules, he told BBC Sport that Tynecastle was worth more than the 10m that had been quoted in the media as part of the McGrail plan.

Chairman George Foulkes is being far more open than the previous board
Robert McGrail
"We have to face it and the fans have to face it that, unless we find some way of finding additional finance to stay at Tynecastle, the huge debt means we will have to sell the ground and move to Murrayfield," said Foulkes.

He stressed that no option would be ruled out until the working party publishes its findings and he insisted that the club's bank was not putting pressure on them to come to a decision before then.

Foulkes confirmed that he had asked McGrail and former director Leslie Deans to come back with further details about their plan to buy Tynecastle and lease the stadium back to the club.

McGrail also had a plan for the regeneration of the Tynecastle area that would include a redeveloped stadium.

Foulkes believed that the council's urgent need for a new school ruled that out but had asked McGrail to come up with an alternative.

McGrail, who is an Edinburgh property expert, had told The Scotsman: "There is no agreement yet, but there are active discussions.

"Chairman George Foulkes is being far more open than the previous board and hopefully things will unfold.

"The best way forward is to reach an agreement for purchase and lease back.

"The money is not the problem. The problem is getting a price out of Tynecastle."

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