Indebted Scottish side Heart of Midlothian FC have agreed the sale of their Tynecastle stadium for €32.5m.
Hearts have played at their Edinburgh home since 1886, but have made the decision to sell up in order to ease their debt of €25m. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning, the club outlined plans to sell the ground to the Edinburgh housing developer Cala Management and confirmed they had reached an agreement with the Scottish Rugby Union to take up tenancy at Murrayfield stadium, six kilometres from Tynecastle.
Hearts will already be playing their UEFA Cup ties at Murrayfield this season as their current home does not meet UEFA specifications. Chairman George Foulkes said of the plans: "They have the unanimous support of the board. In the current circumstances, I believe that the proposals we publish today are in the best interests of Hearts, their shareholders and supporters."
The deal still needs to be approved at an extraordinary meeting of shareholders and Hearts have retained the right to withdraw from the agreement before 31 January 2005 if a preferred alternative is found. A working party is considering plans to redevelop the ground as well as looking at new sites in and around Edinburgh and will report in December. Hearts's UEFA Cup campaign begins in the first round on 16 and 30 September.