Daniel Stendel's Hearts contract is agreed but club want clarity on Barnsley's compensation claim
German coach has agreed terms to become the new manager at Tynecastle
Hearts have agreed terms with Daniel Stendel and plan to announce him as their new manager once they get clarity on a six-figure compensation claim from Barnsley.
Stendel’s former employers have written to the Hearts owner Ann Budge demanding a considerable six-figure sum if she appoints the German. Budge and the Edinburgh club's lawyers are seeking more details from the Yorkshire club before deciding how to proceed.
Terms on Stendel’s contract at Tynecastle Park have been finalised and Hearts had hoped to have his appointment confirmed by now, but Barnsley’s intervention has delayed the process. Hearts are determined not to be held to ransom and believe they will not be due any payment. Stendel's representatives are confident they have documentation proving he is a free agent.
The English Championship club sacked Stendel as manager in October despite a successful 16-month spell at Oakwell. He won promotion from League One and his attacking stle of play helped the 45-year-old become enormously popular with supporters.
He agreed to leave upon being relieved of his duties and believed the remainder of his contract, which ran until next summer, had been cancelled. However, he has yet to receive a pay-off and Barnsley are arguing that the contract is still valid.
Both the club and Stendel are in dispute over a severance package and the Barnsley chief executive Paul Conway has contacted Hearts asking for a compensation payment for Stendel.
“We still have a valid contract with Daniel Stendel until the end of the season,” claimed Conway. “There is already a tampering issue with us concerning his existing contract. And if anybody else is tampering with our rights, we are going to expect compensation.
“Hearts have our letter and we have notified them and, if they want to hire Daniel, that’s fine, that’s their choice. But they either pay us now or we will file a claim against them. And if any club wants to fight it, we will win.”
Budge wants the matter resolved as soon as possible as Hearts try to move on and begin a new era with Stendel in charge. The Edinburgh businesswoman is, however, wary of the dispute potentially ending up in court.
Stendel would like to bring two assistant coaches with him to Tynecastle – Chris Stern and Dale Tonge, who worked with him at Barnsley. They are both free agents having left Yorkshire last month following Stendel’s departure.
Hearts wanted their manager-in-waiting to attend this evening’s Premiership match with Livingston at Tynecastle but that will only happen if his appointment is ratified and announced first.
Austin MacPhee will remain in interim charge of the first team in the meantime, assisted by fellow coaches Donald Park, Jon Daly and Liam Fox. Hearts also intend to appoint a sporting director but that role looks like being filled once the new manager is in place.