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Last Updated: Friday, 7 January, 2005, 12:37 GMT
Hearts edge closer to home stay
Vladimir Romanov
Vladimir Romanov has vowed to compensate for losses
Former Hearts chairman Leslie Deans and other major shareholders are backing Vladimir Romanov's proposed withdrawal from the sale of Tynecastle.

Prospective owner Romanov has called an extraordinary meeting to prevent the sale to property group Cala Management.

"The shares controlled by my brother, Jeffrey, Mr Robert McGrail and myself will support the proposal," said Deans.

"Our votes, allied to those of Mr Romanov, ensure that it is a virtual certainty that this will succeed."

Chairman George Foulkes had urged rejection of Romanov's motion until the board had seen written details of his plans.

Those have been received and Romanov, who is expected to take over the club next month, has promised to bankroll any losses incurred by staying at Tynecastle.

He called for a 10 January egm after the Hearts Stadium Working Group claimed that the Edinburgh club could remain at their current home for the next five years by making just 100,000-worth of improvements.

But that meeting could well be delayed as the Tynecastle board want time to allow all members to peruse the official proposal from Romanov.

A Hearts statement said: "...further clarification and formalisation of the proposals is required.

"The Hearts board recognises this cannot be done prior to the egm on Monday and, therefore, the egm should be adjourned to give the Hearts board an opportunity to give due consideration to the proposals.

"The directors intend that the chairman seeks the consent of shareholders at the egm to adjourn the meeting until 27 January."

Chief executive Chris Robinson, who is selling his stake in the club to Romanov, has insisted that the Working Group report was unrealistic as it did not take account of Tynecastle not being profitable.

He had proposed selling the stadium for more than 20m to clear the club's debts.

Scotland's national rugby stadium at nearby Murrayfield would then be rented until the football club could find a suitable site for a new stadium.

Hearts can pull out of the sale to Cala before a deadline of 28 February agreed with the housing group.





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