SPL to discuss Hearts wage issue

BY foxsports • September 19, 2012

The non-payment of player wages at Hearts is set to be on the agenda of a Scottish Premier League board meeting on Thursday.

The Edinburgh club will also be discussed by UEFA's control and disciplinary body after Hearts fans spilled onto the pitch during last month's Europa League match with Liverpool at Anfield.

It will not be the first time the SPL have discussed late delivery of salaries at Tynecastle after four significant delays last season.

The matter resurfaced this week, with the SPL receiving official written notification from Hearts of the delay on Wednesday morning as the capital club met their obligation to inform the governing body within two days of the incident.

The SPL board meeting was already scheduled and the situation at Hearts, where a number of the club's high earners are still awaiting their monthly salaries which had been due on Monday, will now be among the discussion points.

Sanctions, detailed in the SPL handbook under the heading 'Default in player and club official remuneration', include the possibility of a signing embargo "until the (SPL) board is satisfied that such remuneration default shall no longer continue or subsist".

Hearts have said they are seeking to swiftly resolve the latest delay, which comes after a month which featured a glamour Europa League tie with Liverpool, while all 12 Scottish Premier League clubs are awaiting the latest instalment of television revenue amounting to ?300,000 per club.

Last term three straight months of delayed player wages prompted an official complaint from the players, via union PFA Scotland, to the Scottish Premier League, but action was averted in January after Hearts met the demands imposed.

However, the issue reared its ugly head again in March, when players and staff received their salaries 12 days late.

Hearts attributed some of last term's delays to logistics transferring the funds from Lithuania, where majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov is based.

Hearts will also be on UEFA's agenda on Thursday following an incident in the Europa League tie with Liverpool at Anfield.

Supporters from the away end encroached onto the playing surface when David Templeton scored in the 1-1 draw.

The 84th-minute goal levelled the tie on aggregate, but Luis Suarez then struck as Hearts exited the competition.

European football's governing body said in a statement: "UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Heart of Midlothian FC for 'field invasions by supporters' at last month's UEFA Europa League play-off second-leg match between Liverpool FC and the Scottish club.

"The case will be heard by the UEFA control and disciplinary body on Thursday, September 20."

On the field, Hearts are looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats against Dundee and St Mirren when they play Dundee United at Tannadice on Saturday. Left-back Danny Grainger told Hearts TV: "We've got a close-knit squad and dressing room.

"As long as we pull together and stick together in the dressing room, the results will come."

Grainger added: "We know it's going to be a hard game. We know they will throw everything at us to try to get the win.

"They are missing key players at the moment. We've got to go there full of confidence and try to get a result. We haven't got the results we've deserved in the last few weeks."