DANNY WILSON is preparing to return from illness for Hearts against St Johnstone this weekend.
The club captain is almost fully recovered from tonsilitis and a bacterial infection and should be available for the trip to Perth having been sidelined since the end of last month.
Medical staff at Riccarton have monitored Wilson closely this week and believe he should be able to begin playing again after missing Hearts’ last three matches. The defender has regained some, but not all, of the weight he lost whilst laid low and is looking in better shape.
Hearts manager Gary Locke will be keen to restore Wilson to central defence, provided the player proves his fitness over the next 48 hours. A late and final decision will be taken before Locke names his starting line-up, but signs are that Wilson will at least make the matchday squad.
Meanwhile, leading Hearts executives John Murray and David Southern have agreed to take pay cuts until the club emerges from administration. Assistant manager Billy Brown’s contract is not being renewed, with finances cited as the main reason. Now the director of football and chief executive have agreed a reduction in salary.
Hearts administrators BDO are eager to trim finances to ensure the club survives until the end of the season. “Both David and John have kindly accepted a cut in wages to help reduce the running costs at the club,” said Bryan Jackson of BDO. “We remain focused on the main issue of getting Hearts out of administration by negotiating with the Lithuanian administrators for the transfer of shares.
“However, a key element in the success of this administration is keeping Hearts solvent throughout this process until the share transfer can occur and all issues can be resolved. I would like to thank the team and staff at Hearts and the fans for their patience and loyalty throughout a very difficult period.
“We are getting closer to a resolution but there is still some way to go and several obstacles to overcome so I would ask everyone to remain focused on the end result which is to keep the club going both on and off the pitch for the next few months.”
Hearts legend Gary Mackay, however, has openly criticised both Murray and Southern for their role in the running of the Edinburgh club. “Hearts are the only club in Scottish football to have a director of football yet they can’t sign players,” he said. “We have a guy who worked in PR who is now the managing director and someone who was an academy director that is now a director of football. Their pay cuts are too little, too late.
“How long have Hearts been in administration, yet they’re just taking pay cuts now? It’s a token gesture. I have no agenda myself, it’s about the club being run in a professional manner – in administration or not.”