THE number of Hearts players whose signatures will accompany a complaint to the Scottish Premier League over missing wages is well into double figures, the Evening News can reveal.
Following discussions with PFA Scotland, which are due to take place over the next 24 hours, the formal protest will be lodged with the SPL before 5pm tomorrow. It will contain the names of more than 12 players outraged by continual salary delays and petition league officials to investigate the matter.
In the past few days, the number of players willing to lend their name to a complaint has risen with salaries dating back to November 16 still missing. December’s monthly wages are due to arrive tomorrow but there are severe doubts about whether the money will be processed by the club’s parent company, Ukio Bankas Investment Group.
Senior members of the Hearts squad gathered numbers for the formal protest, which will be top of the agenda at Monday’s league board meeting at Hampden Park provided it is submitted tomorrow.
Legally, SPL officials can only pursue money for those who sign the complaint. However, the number of players now willing to do so is substantial and the squad is eager to force the SPL into action.
Meanwhile, reports today claimed a consortium interested in buying out Hearts’ majority shareholder, Vladimir Romanov, have been unable to access the club’s accounts. Suggestions are that two London-based financiers, two Edinburgh businessmen and a well-known former footballer are keen to gain control but that Romanov has so far been unwilling to co-operate.