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Hearts aim to defy points deficit in new Scottish Premier League season

Updated: Tuesday, 02 Jul 2013 08:38 | Comments

Hearts begin the season 15 points in arrears
Hearts begin the season 15 points in arrears

Hearts midfielder Jason Holt has vowed to defy their points deduction after being inspired by supporters' response to their financial crisis.

Hearts will begin life in the top flight of the Scottish Professional Football League with a 15-point penalty following their descent into administration.

The club are also under a transfer embargo and saw striker John Sutton leave for Motherwell last week.

But they have been allowed to continue defender Danny Wilson's registration following the expiry of his loan from Liverpool and saw Billy Brown return as assistant manager on a voluntary basis yesterday.

And with fans rallying round to raise money after administrators gave them little more than a 50 per cent chance of survival, Holt believes they can defy the odds on the pitch when their season starts against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on 3 August.

The 20-year-old said: "Minus 15 to start with is not fazing us at all. We really believe that we can get out this situation and we are really up for the challenge."

Supporters have mobilised to raise funds - £30,000 at a Tynecastle rally on Sunday alone - as well as buying season tickets to put them on course to hit the 10,000 mark by Friday.

Holt said: "What the fans have been doing has been amazing. It's brilliant for the club and it can only bode well. The funds they have raised are fantastic so as players we just need to thank them.

"All the players were down at the fans rally and I put in a few auction items so I am happy to help.

"The fans were really, really positive about the funds that they are raising, and so are we. I think it's great what they are doing and long may it continue.

"I think the tide's turning and we are getting back on the straight and narrow and getting sorted out.

"The people who have came in (administrators) have been nothing but honest with us and given us straight answers, so that can only be a good thing."

More than 3,500 of the 6,000 fans who pledged funds to the Foundation of Hearts takeover vehicle have also converted their promises into money by opening a direct debit, with the rest urged to follow, ahead of a 12 July deadline for bids for the club.

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