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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 January, 2005, 19:48 GMT
Consortium aims to gazump Romanov
Vladimir Romanov is in advanced discussions with Hearts
Vladimir Romanov is in advanced discussions with Hearts
A group of businessmen claim they can raise 30m in three weeks to gazump Vladimir Romanov's takeover of Hearts.

But the Edinburgh club point out that they have been waiting for the consortium to come up with a proposal since August.

Business advisor Fred Wood told BBC Sport: "We are close to tying up a deal with overseas investors."

However, he admitted that they had as yet had no more than telephone contact with major shareholder SMG.

The Scottish Media Group also requires repayment of debts owed by Hearts before a deal could be concluded.

Wood said that his consortium, led by Pat Munro, an Edinburgh businessman in the building trade, had been speaking to potential investors from Iceland, Russia and Switzerland.

He insisted that they could raise the money despite the funds coming from private wealth, with no institutional investment.

It is being suggested that the consortium will offer chief executive Chris Robinson 1m - 133,000 more than Romanov - for his shareholding.

They would also buy Tynecastle Stadium before leasing it back to the club over the next 30 years.

A 4m budget would also be set aside for head coach John Robertson to spend on players.

However, Hearts have had protracted discussions with the group headed by Lithuanian businessman Romanov and a deal is nearing a conclusion.

He has also won the support of Hearts fans anxious to see the departure of Robinson.

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