Hearts squad warned their wages won’t arrive today
HEARTS players have been warned not to expect their salaries on time today as new doubts emerge about the ability or willingess of the club’s parent company Ubig to keep funding it.
The players were briefed after training yesterday and told it was unlikely that the money, due on the 16th of each month, would arrive. Last night club employees would not completely rule out the possibility that some playing staff would get their salaries today, but admitted there was no sign of it coming from Ubig via the usual route.
Last month, when the players were paid on time, the money was processed into their bank accounts on the afternoon of the 15th to ensure it had cleared by the following day. That came after the Scottish Premier League charged Hearts in January with failing to act in complete good faith because the club only began the payment process on the 16th, and it was found that some players were not in full possession of the money until the next day.
Hearts were cleared, and a fresh charge could only be made if players were to complain to the SPL via their union, PFA Scotland. There seems little prospect of that as, in recent months, the squad have accepted that staff at Tynecastle have been doing as much as possible to raise funds.
Whether Ubig are doing the same, however, cannot be said with any certainty. Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov, who has a controlling interest in Ubig, said last autumn that he wanted to sell the club and would no longer continue to fund it as he had been doing. It has since been unclear whether that meant he would honour existing commitments and merely refuse to release any fresh money, or whether he would make more drastic cuts.
The Kaunas-based businessman at first threatened the latter, but, last month, he ensured the wages were paid on time, just days after settling a demand for unpaid tax which had led to a winding-up order being issued against the club.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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