Hearts have suffered another suspension setback with midfielder Scott Robinson out of the league trip to St Johnstone on Saturday, January 18.
That news came with a stark warning from assistant manager Billy Brown today that the Tynecastle club will soon be unable to field a competitive team.
Robinson received his sixth booking of the season in Thursday’s Edinburgh derby and now incurs a one-match ban. Jamie Hamill is already banned from tomorrow’s Premiership meeting with Partick Thistle and, with injuries also taking their toll, the Hearts squad is down to its very bare bones.
Manager Gary Locke has vowed to continue as best he can with the club still in administration and under a strict registration embargo. Scottish Professional Football League rules prevent them from signing any players whilst in administration and Brown believes the authorities must now act for the sake of the game’s credibility.
“I agree clubs cannot go on handling their affairs like Hearts handled theirs, but the man who did that isn’t here any longer,” he said. “Now it’s the people here and the supporters of this club who are getting punished.
“We know we had to be punished. The punishment should come to an end now. We’re going to get to a stage at this club where Scottish football’s credibility is going to be put into question. Another three injuries or three suspensions and we’re going to be fielding 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds. You can’t tell me that’s for the betterment of anybody.
“The punishment has happened. It should be stopped now. We should be allowed to sign players now.
“We can’t get enough players to put on the bench. Look at the situation at this club, because nobody actually realises what’s happening here. This is not a bluff. We have got about 14 outfield players to pick from at this club. Does anybody realise that?
“We are in a position where we could get to the stage where we can’t field a competitive team. You tell me if that’s right. We can’t get anybody to plead our case. The rules are in place. It’s up to the people who run Scottish football to start making decisions that are correct.
“I don’t think there’s any chance of getting emergency loans. It’s the clubs that make the rules. Our administrators have been trying their best all the way through.”