Beattie deal is criticised by Lennon

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ST MIRREN manager Danny Lennon has criticised Hearts for signing Craig Beattie at a time when they can’t pay their players on time.

Wage delays have been a recurring problem at the Tynecastle club this season and the players who take to the field for the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against Saints in Paisley tonight are still waiting for their March salaries to be paid. The club escaped punishment from the Scottish Premier League in January after players complained about delays, yet they added Beattie to the squad the following month. St Mirren had also been keen to sign the striker and Lennon yesterday spoke of his frustration at a situation he believes is “unfair”.

“Now Beattie can actually compete against a club that was in for him. It just doesn’t sit right,” Lennon said.

Former Celtic forward Beattie signed for Hearts despite the Edinburgh club citing a need to reduce their wage budget. Beattie scored Hearts’ opening goal in the 2-2 draw with St Mirren in the first quarter-final clash at Tynecastle earlier this month and was on target in the 2-0 Edinburgh derby win.

“It is a wee bit frustrating that Hearts are a club that can pay three or four times what we are paying and yet they can’t afford to pay their players’ wages at this minute in time,” added Lennon.