A first attempt was thrown out by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) at the tail end of 2013, with the game’s governing body insisting Hearts must endure their punishment for entering administration in the summer. However, Jackson will speak to SPFL secretary Iain Blair on Monday with a view to setting up a formal meeting, in the hope that “the change in circumstances” will prompt a different verdict.
BDO remain hopeful that they can now put forward a more compelling case for the restrictions to be lifted at the second time of asking, allowing Hearts to add some much-needed depth to their paper-thin squad. It is understood the argument will be based on the fact there is minimal danger of Hearts catching their nearest rivals Ross County, with the capital club now 19 points adrift at the foot of the league.
Hearts’ administrators fear that unless they become more competitive in the second half of the season, home crowds at Tynecastle could dwindle, which would be a serious financial blow as the club attempts to survive until they exit administration, which may not be until April. “We will contact the SPFL on Monday and hopefully set something up for next week,” said Jackson. “The circumstances have changed from the last time we spoke to the SPFL, so I need to make an effort and it is something that we need to try.
“We are not of any great threat, I suppose, to other clubs in terms of where we are in the league. And we are having to play these young boys so many times, through injury and all these kinds of things so, just for a bit of protection, I am going to ask the question again whether there is any assistance we can get.”