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Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Monday, 3 May 2010 18:07 UK

Hearts see club debt rise to 35m

Heart of Midlothian

Hearts' debt climbed to almost £35m for the year ending 31 July 2009, a £5m increase on the previous 12 months.

The Scottish Premier League club reduced their operating loss from £11m to £8m and also cut staff salaries by £800,000 to £10m.

Hearts say they have made savings of £3m and can count of the support of more than 11,000 season-ticket holders.

Defender Christophe Berra's transfer to Wolves helped Hearts to record a £1.8m profit on player sales for the year.

Hearts will continue their shirt sponsorship deal with Ukio Bankas, a deal the Edinburgh club believe to be the third-highest in the SPL.

More than 11,000 supporters have season tickets at Tynecastle and participation in the Europa League qualifying will also provide a financial boost, the club added.

"The board remains focused on improving revenues, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs across the business," Hearts said on their website.

The club intend to reduce their overall debt of £34.78m through a funding-for-equity agreement and Hearts pointed to the continuing success of their academy, which has unearthed players such as left-back Lee Wallace.

Hearts, who finished third in the SPL last season, replaced Csaba Laszlo with Jim Jefferies as manager in January.

Jefferies's side are currently sixth in the table with two games of the current campaign remaining.

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see also
Finance warning to Scottish clubs
03 May 10 |  Scotland
Jefferies returns as Hearts boss
29 Jan 10 |  Hearts
Berra completes Wolves transfer
02 Feb 09 |  Wolves
Hearts positive on debt reduction
16 Feb 09 |  Hearts

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