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Byline: Melissa Clark

not to have two major football teams would be such a shame." ' Margaret Heinsar "I've had customers in all day saying they are going to go and buy shares' Sam Ritz 'I think it's the government who should sort this out' Rahmi Kilic I was thinking about buying 'It's would be a ghost town here without the club' Margaret Smiles IN Edinburgh's football heartlands there was widespread shock at the Hearts crisis - and fears of a knock-on effect on the city's economy.

Near the club's Tynecastle home there was despair over the future and even fans of rivals Hibs expressed concern.

Businesses in the Gorgie area said shutting the reigning Scottish Cup holders could destroy the community.

Margaret Smiles and her daughter Jade, 21, bought The Tyny Cafe outside the ground five months ago.

Margaret, 46, is already struggling with the business because of the recession and believes she could lose everything if the club close.

She said: "It's going to affect us so badly. A lot of people will be hit hard. I was speaking to the newsagents earlier and he is worried, we all are.

"I am surprised to hear it, though. Everyone is going downhill nowadays, now us.

"I've been a Hearts fan since I was little. I've lived in Gorgie a few times and it used to be a busy street. It would be a ghost town without the club."

Jade said she is scared the family business will have to close.

She said: "We are just getting started and this happens.

"I work here full-time but if we don't take in any money, there is no money for the family.

"We would be destroyed if we had to close.

"Everybody around here is in shock about what might happen."

Rahmi Kilic, 33, has owned the 7 Brothers Cafe and takeaway on Gorgie Road for four years.

He worries that if the club closes, his profits will drop dramatically.

Rahmi said: "It will affect us so much if the club decide to close. It happens all the time, this year we have this crisis.

"It will affect the area as basically every third week, people are brought here and to my business.

"It is up to the government to sort this, get campaigns going. It belongs to the government.

"It's really serious if they leave here, such a big worry of mine. So many jobs could be lost."

Sam Ritz, the 68-year-old owner of Sam's Gents Hairstylist, said: "I am going to be hit but not as much as a pub or snack bar.

"I'm not really surprised about it, they've not paid their taxes. They are in such a mess.

"Getting into debt is never good.

"I've had customers in all day saying they are going to go and buy shares to try and help the community, save it really.

"I'm sure if the same happened on Easter Road, people who be just as passionate and do anything to save their club."

James Morris, 68, arrived at the ground to pay PS100 for shares to save his beloved club.

He said: "Well, it's pretty grim down here but we could see it coming for a while.

"Too much money was being spent on wages. I mean PS15,000 on Kingston? That's ridiculous really. What else was going to happen? "In this day and age people don't have money to spare. I'm giving my PS100. I don't do drugs or drink so I put my money into shares for the club and my PS300 season ticket.

"But unless a white knight comes along, I don't see what they can do."

Chris Hutton, 28, from Gorgie, said: "It's disappointing. It's come right out of the blue really. Asking fans to come up with the money in eight days, what's the use in that? "I think if we have bills, we should have to pay them or end up like Rangers.

"I'd rather they paid for their costs. It's not the first time this has happened.

"I just don't think it would be right to take money from fans who have stuck by them.

"I was just in the Hearts shop. I was thinking about buying shares but I'm really not sure."

Best friends and keen Hearts fans Shona Brownley and Kevin Livingston are devastated by the blow.

Shona, 33, who has a Hearts tattoo on her hip, said: "It's not just a club, it's a life. If you cut me, I would bleed HEARTS.

"Unless a realistic buyer comes forward, nothing will change. We need a huge investor who can make a difference.

"It breaks my heart to see this happen. If I won the EuroMillions , I'd go for it myself'.

"This is my life, it's an institution, it's history.

"It's important for the fans to get behind the team."

Kevin, 35, said he'd long had doubts about the way owner Vladimir Romanov runs the club.

He said: "I never really trusted Romanov. H's not interested in the club in the way he should be. They are pricing the common man out of football, out of the game.

"He is too busy spending money on things like basketball in Lithuania and not caring for his team here."

"If it wasn't for Hearts, who saved Scottish football all those years ago, fans wouldn't have a club."

Muriel Bird, 82, worries about the community if the club are to go.

She said: "I've lived here for 52 years. It's sad to think what could happen to the community.

"My two granddaughters will definitely be heartbroken.

"The management need to change. I'm surprised to hear who is dealing with this. I don't have money to buy shares.

"Perhaps they are going to end up just like Rangers. It's sad to see.

"I've watched people over the years grow up here with the football. How are people who are trying to bring up kids with the atmosphere of football going to do it? It wouldn't be right.

"I just wonder what else is going to go next."

Hibs fans across at Easter Road put aside their rivalry to show some support for the stricken club.

George Rogers, 56, said: "They're an Edinburgh club. The players have families to support and wages need to be paid.

"I think it would really affect their fans, though. I don't want to see anyone down like that, it's not nice.

"I would miss them coming here and us going across to them if it happens, I'd miss the derby games.

"It would be a pity if they go to the Third Division like Rangers."

He added: "The financial implications could be devastating. "We forget about the guys selling the pies and people in shops, where are they going to get their money? It could be very bad.

"They have got away with it for so long, though. But if I had debt, the taxman would be knocking at my door, why not theirs now?" Margaret Heinsar, 64, said: "I think for Edinburgh not to have two major football teams would be such a shame."

Jordan Caddow, 28-year-old sports science student at Telford College, said: "You need a good derby atmosphere. I'm sure Celtic really do miss out now.

"Now I'm a bit older I can see that it won't be good for anyone."


'It breaks my heart. If I won the EuroMillions I'd go for it myself' Shona Brownley 'I would miss them coming here. I'd miss the derby games' George Rogers

would be destroyed if we to close. We're in shock' Smiles 'Now I'm older I see it would not be good for anyone."' Jordan Caddow

'I don't do drugs or drink so I'll put my money into club shares' James Morris 'Perhaps they are going to end up just like Rangers' Muriel Bird

'Romanov's not interested in the club the way he should be' Kevin Livingston
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 9, 2012
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