Hearts ask for patience over wages

Ukio Bankas
Ukio Bankas
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HEARTS directors have advised players to be patient whilst they source funds to process October’s monthly wages, although some of the Tynecastle squad may need to wait until next week to be paid.

Officials in Lithuania are working to resolve the situation which has seen senior players go without wages since the monthly payment date of the 16th was missed. Other staff at the club were paid earlier this week but several first-team members are still waiting.

Boardroom sources have stressed there is no cashflow problem and that trading within Ukio Bankas Investment Group, Hearts’ parent company, will secure the required funds in time. The squad has been told Hearts are expecting to resolve the situation soon but there is no guarantee that will be done by close of business on Friday, therefore some may need to wait till next week.

Some players have contacted the Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association for advice and are contemplating lodging an official complaint with the SPL if wages do not arrive soon.

The club has employed a media ban since the weekend when manager Paulo Sergio was reported to the SFA’s compliance officer over comments about referee Iain Brines. Consequently, no-one at Hearts is willing to comment publicly on the situation.

Sergio, however, has broken the media ban to declare his determination to succeed at Tynecastle and thereafter secure a return to Portuguese football.

The Tynecastle manager spoke to Renaissance Radio in his homeland and admitted he hankers after another job in Portugal following his dismissal by Sporting Lisbon in February. Firstly, he wants to help Hearts thrive.

“We could and should have more points for what we have done so far this season,” said Sergio. “Each game is more difficult because the teams are used to us now and not surprised any more. But we are improving and the players’ mindset is getting stronger too.

“Who knows what the future will bring, it belongs to God. There are very good clubs in Portugal and I am interested in coaching there. I know that in financial terms the market is more attractive. But I must make it work here to return to Portuguese football. I want to succeed here.”