Hearts face £40,000 fine for poor discipline

HEARTS face a potential £40,000 fine from the Scottish Football Association for their poor disciplinary record this season, the Evening News can reveal.

Gary Glen incurred the Edinburgh club's ninth red card of the campaign against Gretna on Tuesday night, which is expected to result in hefty sanction.

The SFA warned Hearts about their players' conduct back in January following four red cards and a series of yellows during the first half of the campaign. However, five further dismissals since the turn of the year will prompt the governing body's disciplinary committee to take action.

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Glen, Calum Elliot (twice), Christian Nade, Michael Stewart (twice), Eduardas Kurskis, Marius Zaliukas and Lee Wallace have all been ordered off this season.

It would be the fourth consecutive year that the SFA have meted out disciplinary punishment to Hearts. A 5000 fine was imposed in 2005, which doubled to 10,000 in 2006 and doubled again to 20,000 last year. The SFA's policy of multiplying fines for repeat offenders means a 40,000 sanction is now likely.

Drew Herbertson, head of the disciplinary department at Hampden, told the Evening News: "Hearts were warned by ourselves in January about their disciplinary record for the first half of the season between the months of August and December.

"In due course, the disciplinary committee will come to consider the disciplinary analysis for this season. At that juncture, they will take a view on the records of the clubs which come under scrutiny.

"It's entirely a matter for the committee to take a view on Hearts if they are at the wrong end of the table. What sanction is applied to the club is at the committee's discretion when it comes to repeat offenders."

Zaliukas was assessed by medical staff at Riccarton yesterday but the head knock which forced him off against Gretna is not serious. "He's fine, it wasn't a bad injury so he can go home to Lithuania now with a clean bill of health," said Stephen Frail, the interim manager.

Meanwhile, Hearts fielded a team containing mostly reserve and under-19 players yesterday in a closed-doors friendly with Queen of the South at Riccarton. The Dumfriesshire side won the game 1-0 as they continue preparations for the Scottish Cup final against Rangers.

"I was pleased with the performance of our team because it was a very young side and they were playing the Scottish Cup finalists," said Frail. "Players like Craig Sives, who has hardly played since being on loan at Dundee earlier this season, were involved so it was a worthwhile exercise."