Hearts boss Gary Locke admits Rudi Skacel bid is over - for now

Rudi Skacel in training at Riccarton
Rudi Skacel in training at Riccarton
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Hearts manager Gary Locke is resigned to the fact he will not sign Rudi Skacel until his club emerges from administration.

Two attempts by Tynecastle officials to register the Czech midfielder have failed since the turn of the year and Locke has now reluctantly accepted that it won’t happen this season.

Skacel continues to train with the squad in the hope he can become a Hearts player for the third time in the near future. Because the club are still in administration, they can only sign players on a one in, one out basis with permission from the Scottish Professional Football League.

In January, Hearts cancelled the playing contract of goalkeeping coach Alan Combe and petitioned the SPFL to let them replace him with Skacel. The request was rejected. Recently they asked if Skacel could take the place of John Sutton, who was effectively laid off last June, and were refused again.

Locke conceded today that he must wait until the administration period ends before signing Skacel. “There’s no doubt that’s the case, and it is frustrating,” he told the Evening News. “People at the club couldn’t have tried any harder. It’s just unfortunate because we felt we had a really cast-iron case in as much as you send one player out and you can bring one in. That obviously hasn’t been the case.

“It would be great to bring Rudi in, not just in terms of his playing ability. He’s a big hero of the supporters and I think they would all love to see him playing for Hearts again.

Unfortunately, the beaks at the top again have refused to let us bring him in.

“The person I feel for most is Rudi because all he wants to do is play for Hearts and he’s getting denied the opportunity. There’s not a lot we can do about it. The lad has been training here for the last two months. You see him at training and his left foot hasn’t changed, it’s still a wand. He still shoots from everywhere and scores from everywhere.

“It’s obvious to everyone we haven’t scored enough goals this year and certainly if you have him in your team then you have a better chance. It’s not something there’s any point dwelling on because we’ve tried. Everybody has tried their best and unfortunately for us we aren’t able to sign him.”