Hearts wages row draws to a close as SPL drops charge

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HEARTS have declared themselves “satisfied” with the Scottish Premier League’s decision to dismiss the charge against them for failing to pay players on time earlier this month.

Tynecastle officials successfully argued their case in front of an SPL board sub-committee comprising chief executive Neil Doncaster and operations director Iain Blair and as a result the club won’t face further sanctions.

Hearts director Sergejus Fedotovas, managing director David Southern and the club’s legal team were present at Hampden Park to answer the charge of “failing to act with the utmost good faith towards the SPL”.

The charge arose because some Tynecastle players received wages a day late on January 17 after the SPL, acting on a complaint by 14 Hearts players, ordered the club to pay all salaries by midnight the previous day. Hearts processed all payments on January 16 as stipulated and, after hearing the Edinburgh club’s defence yesterday, the SPL admitted they had no case to answer.

A Hearts spokesperson said: “We are satisfied at the outcome. Both the SPL and ourselves worked constructively to assess the circumstances that led to the hearing and we can now move on having resolved the situation. The matter is now closed and the club will be making no further comment.”

An SPL statement read: “The Scottish Premier League announced that the charge against Heart of Midlothian FC for an alleged breach of SPL Rule A3.1 has been dismissed.

“An SPL Board sub-committee determined that for the club to have complied with the order of January 4, it had to have the players’ wages in the players’ bank accounts and available for their use by no later than midnight on 16th January. In fact, the wages did not reach the players’ bank accounts until the morning of 17th January.

“However, the SPL board sub-committee found that the club’s directors believed that, by irrevocably instructing their bank on January 16, that was sufficient to make payment and comply with the order.

“Because the club’s directors believed that they were complying with the order, Heart of Midlothian were acting in good faith. Accordingly, the charge against the club was dismissed.”