Ryan Stevenson appeal fee too costly for Hearts

Marius Zaliukas: Ankle surgery. Picture: Dan Phillips
Marius Zaliukas: Ankle surgery. Picture: Dan Phillips
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John McGlynn has admitted Hearts couldn’t risk losing £1,000 after accepting Ryan Stevenson had little chance of overturning his Tannadice red card.

The midfielder must serve an immediate three-match ban after being dismissed by referee Willie Collum for a challenge on Gary Mackay-Steven just 25 minutes into Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Dundee United.

After the match, both sides agreed the straight red seemed harsh and Tynecastle manager McGlynn even sought guidance from John Fleming during a phone call to the SFA head of referee development.

Hearts have already waved goodbye to a £1,000 appeal fee this season when they unsuccessfully contested Stevenson’s retrospective two-match suspension for a tackle on James McPake during the goalless 3 January derby clash with Hibs.

Every penny is a prisoner for Hearts this season after the club fought to avoid a Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom’s winding-up order over an unpaid £450,000 bill last November.

McGlynn, who will be without Stevenson for the visits of Kilmarnock and Inverness and a trip to St Mirren, said: “I spoke to John Fleming. Although he can’t talk about a specific tackle, he can talk you through what is serious foul play.

“We generally got the feeling we would not have stood an awful lot of chance with the appeal even though we were up in arms on Saturday about it. Have we got a £1000 to throw down the tubes at the minute?”

Meanwhile, Hearts captain Marius Zaliukas is expected to be sidelined for three months after ankle surgery.

“That’s probably him for the season, which is a blow,” added McGlynn.

Zaliukas is thought to be one of the high earners at Tynecastle and becomes a free agent this summer, so it may well be that the Lithuanian has played his last game for Hearts.