Hearts backing Miguel Pallardo in Spanish bribery probe

Jason Holt with Miguel Pallardo in training
Jason Holt with Miguel Pallardo in training
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Hearts are confident Miguel Pallardo’s name will be cleared after the Spanish midfielder was named as one of 42 people being investigated over match-fixing allegations.

Head coach Robbie Neilson insists the Tynecastle club knew when they signed him in September that the 28-year-old had been involved in a match between Real Zaragoza and Levante – where he was on loan from Getafe – which had aroused suspicions with the Spanish authorities.

It is alleged that Zaragoza players and officials paid their Levante counterparts to throw the game.

“We’ve known about it for months, and I’m surprised it’s taken so long for it to come out,” said Neilson. “Miguel came in August and we knew about it then. The agent told us about it, but we knew he didn’t have a case to answer.”

Hearts believe Pallardo would not have been involved in any wrongdoing as 
Levante losing to Zaragoza could have resulted in his parent club Getafe being relegated. “At the time Miguel was on loan to the club [Levante],” said Neilson.

“If you look at it and the way the result went, it affected his [parent] club. I don’t think there’s anything there to worry about.

“He’s an experienced player and it won’t affect him – and it won’t affect how we deal with him here. His agent spoke to us about it and we knew what the situation was; we knew what his side of the story was. It was an allegation made against the club and he was part of the club, you can’t isolate one player in it.”