Vlad stumps up in Hearts pay row

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Senior Hearts players today breathed a sigh of relief, after the club paid them wages overdue since October 16.

A number had gone without their pay since the middle of last month, and many were set to lodge a formal complaint with the SPL through players’ union, PFA Scotland. That course of action, however, was averted on Thursday night, after manager Paulo Sergio gave the squad assurances that the pay would arrive into their bank accounts yesterday. It would appear that the players’ trust in their manager has proven correct, with all outstanding wages and bonuses transferred to their accounts yesterday afternoon.

As the Evening News had reported, the unpaid players may have reconsidered their stance on the official complaint, with some willing to submit it on Monday had wages had not been paid out by then. As it stands, such action has now been totally avoided.

Meanwhile, Former Hearts chairman Leslie Deans today said he understands the reasons for club owner Vladimir Romanov’s apparent frustration at Tynecastle.

Although Deans was completely against Romanov’s delay in paying players their wages for October, he found reason in the Lithuanian’s statement on Hearts’ official website this week expressing his disillusionment at seeing his ambitions for the club unable to be realised.

Deans said Romanov was “100 per cent correct” in viewing Scottish football as a infertile landscape for progress, but called for calm as all parties sought harmony. “This is about calm common sense diplomacy – not screaming headlines,” said Deans. “I hope the club can achieve stability, and that’s something the club and the players can both provide.”

Since taking control of Hearts in 2005, Romanov has come up against seemingly insurmountable problems when applying for permission to redevelop Tynecastle Stadium.

Deans does not rule the Lithuanian walking out of the club, and added: “If those in the boardroom who are injecting money don’t see any progress, you think: ‘What’s the point?’ and the enthusiasm is drained from you.

“I don’t know what Vladimir Romanov is thinking, but all I’m saying is it would not be a complete surprise.

“Scottish football is on a downward spiral and drastically needs reorganisation. That is what Vladimir Romanov is referring to, and he is 100 per cent correct in his assessment.”

* HEARTS striker Calum Elliot has joined Dundee on a one-month loan deal.