HEARTS will pay players’ wages in time to avoid a mass walkout at Tynecastle over breached contracts.
PFA Scotland is investigating whether their clients are legally entitled to leave with salaries overdue since October 16, but the club is confident of averting that scenario.
No official explanation has been given to the Hearts players over the missing payments and their union has contacted club officials to ask for reasons. Legally, those not paid could be entitled to leave of their own accord because contracts have been breached. But funds are expected to be forthcoming from Ukio Bankas Investment Group, the club’s parent company, before that happens.
Hearts have suggested payments would be processed today but players are now sceptical over when exactly their monies will arrive. It is over two weeks since their wages were due and many are angry at the lack of commitment and courtesy shown to them.
More trouble arose yesterday when the Scottish Football Association issued a notice of complaint over manager Paulo Sergio’s conduct during Saturday’s defeat by Kilmarnock.
The Portuguese was already due to attend a hearing at Hampden Park tomorrow after disparaging comments about referee Iain Brines. Further punishment now beckons after he was sent to the stand and remonstrated with referee Alan Muir on Saturday. He has been cited to answer a string of charges over his conduct on November 17.
Defender Danny Grainger misses the next two matches against St Mirren and Dundee United having been punished for stamping on Kilmarnock’s Dean Shiels. Ian Black is already banned for Hearts’ next three games.