Hearts salaries paid but SPL board prepare to discuss delayed payment
HEARTS last night confirmed that all remaining staff members who were still owed a wage payment for August had received the outstanding sum in their accounts yesterday morning.
Hearts manager John McGlynn had earlier revealed he was among those who had not been paid this month as more details emerged yesterday of the latest wage delay at Tynecastle. A short statement posted on the official club website confirmed the problem had now been addressed.
“Hearts today revealed that the manager and the players have been paid,” it said. “Full salary payments were made this morning.”
While it has been resolved for now, the worry is that such cash flow problems might rear their head again further down the line. McGlynn admitted that “you can’t be daft coming into this club and put blinkers on, expecting these issues not to crop up”.
In total, six players and two members of the coaching staff remained unpaid yesterday morning as the Scottish Premier League board prepared to discuss the situation at a meeting at Hampden Park today. Some club chairmen have become uneasy at the prospect of Hearts signing players at the same time as defaulting on payments to those already on the club’s payroll.
McGlynn yesterday said there should be no worries on that score. “Well, I have been trying to get players in since I came here, so I am not too bothered about that. I don’t think we are bringing anyone in.”
The manager appeared relaxed about the situation and relayed the impression that the players were also at ease with yet another payment issue following similar problems at the end of last year. Ryan Stevenson walked out of the club in December after successive months of missed payments. Surprisingly, however, he rejoined Hearts last month from Ipswich Town. McGlynn yesterday confirmed that Stevenson was not among the half-dozen players who had been left waiting for wages this time.
“Most of the players were paid by Monday, which was payday,” said McGlynn. “There were six players plus two members of the coaching staff who were not paid. It was to be resolved within 24 to 48 hours, but it isn’t quite resolved yet. I don’t know anything more.”
Asked whether he had been paid, McGlynn answered: “No, you know the phrase: would work for nothing...”
The manager admitted that he had been “prepared” for such an occurrence. “You can’t be daft coming into this club and put blinkers on and expect these issues not to crop up,” he said. “You obviously hope it won’t crop up, because it is a distraction and we could certainly do without it.
“The players have been through this before and they have always been paid. Not always on time, but they’ve been paid. I think they are more comfortable with the situation as it stands. I am not saying they are happy about it – of course they would prefer to have been paid on time. But I think they have dealt with it every well.”
McGlynn employed humour as his own coping mechanism yesterday. “I am not too worried, my wife works anyway!” he quipped. He also said he had made “big bucks at Raith Rovers – I have plenty in the bank!” He did, though, accept that there was some cause for concern given that the wage issues had emerged again so early in the season, and shortly after a lucrative European tie against Liverpool.
“Everybody knows that the wages which Hearts have been paying for a number of years have been far too much and once you overspend you go into deficit. If you keep doing that continually, continually, continually, until someone says you have gone too far, and you are still committed to those expensive contracts then you are in bother. It’s not rocket science. Hearts have been spending far more than has been coming in for a long time.
“Hearts have been £30 million in debt. We’ve maybe got that down a bit, but we are still trading by putting too much money out and not bringing enough in. That’s where we are and that’s probably why we can’t bring players in. If we can’t pay wages then how can we bring players in? People need to wake up and smell the coffee and understand the situation.”
In the circumstances, an appointment at a ground where they have not won for three years might not seem the most welcome of prospects. Hearts have not tasted victory at Tannadice, home of tomorrow’s opponents, Dundee United, since Michael Stewart scored the winner in a 1-0 victory in February 2009.
“There is no better time to go up there and break our duck,” insisted McGlynn. “We have great motivation to go and do that. I have not been involved in the last three years without a win. I believe we are playing well and I have belief in the players we have here.”
Two successive defeats against Dundee and St Mirren were made more alarming due to the fact Hearts failed to score in either game. The results have further highlighted Hearts’ lack of options up front. The team has been left further exposed in this area by a knock picked up in training by Callum Paterson, who was deployed as a striker in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at St Mirren.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east