HEARTS goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald can handle being paid a few days late – but he admits the big fear among the squad is that they end up being docked points if the club are unable to address the issue in the long run.
The Tynecastle outfit were hit with a 60-day transfer embargo this week after two successive months of late salary payments to some of the team’s higher-earning players, as well as manager John McGlynn.
MacDonald insists he has been largely unfazed by recent events, but he is concerned that if it continues, the players could end up carrying the can in the form of a points deduction. With this in mind, he has welcomed the launch of the share initiative, which got under way this morning.
“Out of the whole situation, it’s players who are getting punished with late wages,” he said. “That’s our livelihoods and a points deduction would be a double blow for the players. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s difficult for the SPL to judge the situation. The embargo has been fair and the worry is what the next steps are going to be. If they start taking points away it would be a big problem for everyone at the club. The hope would be a successful share issue would help contribute to the club and stop points being deducted.”
Despite the punishment handed down to Hearts this week and the fact the wage issue still dominates the headlines, MacDonald insists the players have taken it all in their stride this time round, as opposed to a year ago when mutiny was in the air as they went weeks at a time without pay.
“I think last year’s scenario was different. When it was week after week without pay and that was happening month after month. Now the club are trying to work within their turnover and it’s only a few days.
“The players do understand. Yes, we want to be paid but we are getting paid after three or four days. I think the communication has improved too. They’ve come to us and told us while last year we were left in the dark. We were getting to pay day and thinking “wait a minute, what’s happening here?” and then chasing the club. But they’ve learned from that and they are informing the players what is happening and keeping everyone informed.”