Late payment of wages at Hearts leads to signing embargo
HEARTS have been placed under an indefinite player registration embargo by the Scottish Premier League after failing to pay their players on time.
The ban is set to be discussed by the SPL board on Monday, but while it remains in place, even free agents such as Rudi Skacel will not be permitted to sign for the Tynecastle club.
Skacel, who left in June, has been training with the club after failing to agree a new contract elsewhere. That had raised the hopes of supporters that the Czech would sign on for a third spell in Edinburgh, but those hopes are now at best on hold.
Six Hearts players, as well as manager John McGlynn, have not received their salaries on time for a second successive month. The SPL imposed the embargo last month after the first breach of its new financial regulations, but omitted to announce its decision.
Those regulations were introduced in the summer largely in response to similar problems at Hearts last season, and they now apply automatically in the case of such breaches.
However, Hearts appear uncertain at present about the length of their ban, and if it would be waived the minute they paid their players in full, or remain in place as a punitive measure for some time thereafter.
The club did at least comply with one aspect of the new regulations by informing the SPL of the payment delay. Last month, a small number of high-earning players and McGlynn were paid several days late, and the fact that delay was short is thought to have led them to agree to wait patiently this month.
It was a different situation last season, when three consecutive monthly delays led to the players agreeing to make an official complaint to the SPL through their union, PFA Scotland. Then-manager Paulo Sergio put his credibility on the line by assuring the players that if they withdrew the complaint the money would be forthcoming, and he was vindicated when the funds were paid almost immediately.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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