Payday lender Wonga have handed embattled Heart of Midlothian football club a significant sum in sponsorship payments ahead of schedule.
The undisclosed figure represents a large step towards survival for the insolvent club as it seeks to raise funds and attract new ownership.
David Southern, managing director of Heart of Midlothian plc, said: “Wonga have shown an exceptional and unprecedented show of faith in our time of need.
“They have worked with us over the term and again when we have needed them most. We are optimistic that their money added to our strong season ticket sales will go a long way to keeping the club going while we look for a suitable buyer.”
Working with administrator Bryan Jackson of BDO, Wonga’s contribution should ensure the club is able to start the 2013/14 season in August, where television revenues and gate receipts will generate further cash.
Administrator Trevor Birch said: “Wonga have certainly stepped up to the plate. July is a difficult month for the club in terms of cash flow. Things are tight right now and the financial support from Wonga is a real boost.
“This vote of confidence together with the incredible reaction from the supporters is giving us more confidence that we can get through this difficult period.”
BDO have set a deadline of 12 July for formal bids for the club, with several groups reportedly interested, including Foundation of Hearts, a coalition of fan groups, and a consortium fronted by Gordon McKie, the former Scottish Rugby Union chief executive.