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Football | Europe

Vladimir Romanov © Action Images

Hearts avoid punishment over financial crisis



Hearts have avoided relegation after Scottish Premier League chiefs decided the financial problems of the Edinburgh club's majority shareholder had not breached its rules before the end of the season.

UBIG, which owns about four-fifths of shares in Hearts, were declared insolvent on a Lithuanian government website on Thursday, prompting fears Hearts could be hit with an 18-point penalty which would immediately send them into the Scottish second tier.

SPL rules can lead to points deductions if an owner suffers an insolvency event.

Hearts reportedly owe £10 million to UBIG, which was controlled by the club's owner Vladimir Romanov until he resigned from the board after the company's assets were frozen.

But following talks at Hampden Park on Monday, a league statement read: "The SPL board met today to consider reports from Lithuania in respect of Ukio Banko Investicine Grupe (UBIG).

"The board are not satisfied, on the basis of information currently available to it, that an insolvency event (as defined by SPL rules) occurred in respect of UBIG during season 2012-2013."

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