Hearts have seen their record-high disciplinary fine of £100,000 cut by £20,000 following an appeal to the Scottish FA.
The Capital club have already settled the first instalment of £60,000, payable immediately after governing body officials administered the punishment at a close-season meeting, but the bill for a further 20 per cent of the total amount, originally suspended until January, has now been withdrawn. The remaining £20,000 is due next summer dependent on the Tynecastle side showing a “noticeable improvement” in behaviour.
They will be hopeful of achieving that target after displaying better on-field conduct in the opening weeks of the SPL campaign, with one red card and nine yellow cards in six matches to their name – including four bookings in one game, at Kilmarnock.
Hearts incurred five red cards and 92 yellow cards last season, compared with ten red and 89 yellow the year before.
Club officials constructed their appeal around the “significant” advances that had been made in ensuring positive conduct by their players and argued that a fine of such value “grossly misrepresented the improvements made”.
Earlier this year, the Scottish FA withdrew a £10,000 fine imposed on Hearts for on-field behaviour after the club posted a record of better conduct.
Last season marked the seventh successive year in which the Gorgie club has been hit with a fine for indiscipline.
When the latest fine was announced, Hearts did not hesitate to contest it, with the club’s owner Vladimir Romanov saying the Scottish FA had administered the penalty to “camouflage” injustices against his team.
The businessman went on to accuse some senior officials at the national association as “devoid of brain and conscience”.