SPL to address late wage payments as Hearts face UEFA action over ‘field invasions’

Hearts fans at Anfield. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Hearts fans at Anfield. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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THE non-payment of player wages at Hearts is set to be on the agenda of a Scottish Premier League board meeting today.

The Edinburgh club will also be discussed by Uefa’s control and disciplinary body after Hearts fans spilled on to the pitch during last month’s Europa League match with Liverpool at Anfield. It will not be the first time the SPL have discussed late delivery of salaries at Tynecastle after four significant delays last season.

Novikovas of Hearts takes on Kelly of Liverpool in the game at Tynecastle. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Novikovas of Hearts takes on Kelly of Liverpool in the game at Tynecastle. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The matter resurfaced this week, with the SPL receiving official written notification from Hearts of the delay yesterday as the Capital club met their obligation to inform the governing body within two days of the incident.

The SPL board meeting was already scheduled and the situation at Hearts, where a number of the club’s high earners are still awaiting their monthly salaries which had been due on Monday, will now be among the discussion points.

Sanctions, detailed in the SPL handbook, include the possibility of a signing embargo “until the (SPL) board is satisfied that such remuneration default shall no longer continue or subsist”.

Hearts have said they are seeking to swiftly resolve the latest delay. All 12 Clydesdale Bank Premier League clubs are awaiting the latest instalment of television revenue amounting to £300,000 per club.

Last term, three straight months of delayed player wages prompted an official complaint from the players, via union PFA Scotland, to the Scottish Premier League, but action was averted in January after Hearts met the demands imposed.

However, the issue reared its ugly head again in March, when players and staff received their salaries 12 days late.

Hearts will also be on Uefa’s agenda tomorrow following an incident in the Europa League tie with Liverpool at Anfield.

Supporters from the away end encroached onto the playing surface when David Templeton scored in the 1-1 draw.

European football’s governing body said in a statement: “Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Heart of Midlothian FC for ‘field invasions by supporters’ at last month’s Uefa Europa League play-off second-leg match between Liverpool FC and the Scottish club.

“The case will be heard by the Uefa control and disciplinary body on Thursday, 20 September.”

On the field, Hearts are looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats by Dundee and St Mirren when they play Dundee United at Tannadice on

Saturday.

Left-back Danny Grainger said: “We’ve got a close-knit squad and dressing room. As long as we pull together and stick together in the dressing room, the results will come.”