Hearts manager Gary Locke is concerned about losing one of his most experienced players in Jamie Hamill if the club are not able to offer a contract extension quickly.
The 27-year-old is one of several players out of contract at Tynecastle this summer and has recently been linked with a move to Bournemouth. With Hearts still in administration, new deals have been put on hold until the club’s financial position is clearer.
Hearts’ administrators BDO hope to have prospective owner Ann Budge running the club by the end of next week, with a plan to exit administration some time in June. Locke fears the delay could come too late for Hamill, although he hopes to persuade the player to wait and secure his future in Edinburgh.
“Jamie is in a position at the moment where his contract is up,” Locke told the Evening News. “He’s got a family to look after and another kid on the way as well. He’s held off till now because I think, from talking to him, his first option would be to stay with Hearts. However, the longer it goes on he knows he wants to get his future sorted out. We’re hoping to get moving on that front very soon. You will get players, with less than two weeks of the season left, who are starting to worry about their futures. That’s only natural.”
Hearts are contesting the “excessive misconduct” charge issued to Hamill by the Scottish Football Association last week. He was given a notice of complaint after barging the Ross County manager Derek Adams to the ground and faces a ban of anything up to four matches.
PFA Scotland lawyers are working on Hamill’s case and are likely to plead that the collision with Adams was accidental, and caused partly by Yann Songo’o’s push on the Hearts player beforehand.
Hamill received a second yellow card and was ordered off at the time but the SFA decided to punish him further after studying the incident. The case is expected to be heard next Thursday, May 8.