Clevid Dikamona asks Hearts to cancel his contract - but wants to return to Tynecastle
Hearts defender Clevid Dikamona has asked to terminate his contract to return to France with his family, but says he would happily sign a new deal for next season.
Players and staff at the Edinburgh club were requested to drop wages by 50 per cent due to the impact of football’s suspension and the conornavirus pandemic.
Dikamona’s deal is due to expire on May 31 and he would prefer to be released now to return to his family home and help save Hearts a wage. However, the 29-year-old stressed the move is not part of any exit strategy to get away from Tynecastle Park amid the current crisis.
A popular figure with supporters, the centre-back said he would willingly negotiate another contract for next season if Hearts wanted him back. For now, he has accepted the 50 per cent salary reduction.
As part of a statement posted on social media, he said: “I have simply agreed to help the club by adhering to the requests of the owner and as I have indicated I am also ready to re-sign a contract with the club as soon as the situation will be clear, and especially if the club wishes to make me a new contractual proposal – because as everyone knows I am attached to this club and Hearts will be my priority for next season.
“The end of my contract comes now rather than in May simply to allow me to return to France now with my family and in good condition and not in the will to flee my responsibilities with the club or to anticipate a transfer window which, from my point of view, will be a real challenge for everyone when the situation is clear.”
Hearts players are presently trying to negotiate the extent of the cuts for some individuals. Younger players on lower contracts would find it far more difficult to drop their money by half compared to senior colleagues on higher salaries.
PFA Scotland are liaising with Tynecastle officials on behalf of the squad and would prefer wages to be deferred rather than simply cut indefinitely. That would mean players would receive any outstanding monies at a later date if they agreed to a temporary drop just now.
Hearts are also under pressure to put a timescale on wage reductions for their staff, although no-one is able to predict how long the coronavirus impact across the globe will last.
Scottish football remains suspended until April 30 at the earliest with no matches taking place at any level. It is almost certain that deadline will be extended into May and probably beyond.
A further concern for the Tynecastle playing squad – and others across the country – is a clause stating Scottish clubs are entitled to suspend contracts in the event of the league being suspended.
Every player contract is ratified by the Scottish Professional Football League and includes the following paragraph: “In the event of the Scottish FA deciding that the game shall be suspended, either entirely or in any district or district as provided for in the articles of association of the Scottish FA, this agreement shall be correspondingly suspended, unless the club is exempted from such suspension or thte club otherwise determines.”
That has prompted players throughout Scotand to seek legal advice over concerns that they could go unpaid throughout football’s suspension.