DANNY GRAINGER today insisted that Hearts’ players will not allow themselves to be affected by the club’s latest off-field problems.
John McGlynn, six players and one other member of the coaching staff last night finally received the wages they were supposed to have in their bank accounts on Monday. The four-day delay saw Hearts cite the non-payment of £300,000 from the SPL as the reason for their inability to fulfil their financial requirements.
Their failure to pay the entire squad on time has raised concerns that, despite cash coming in from the Scottish Cup final, season ticket sales and club merchandise, the Europa League tie with Liverpool and television rights, this may not be the only time staff are forced to wait for their salary to be paid in this season.
The players are, understandably, reticent to say too much about the money worries which have plagued Hearts in recent times, but Grainger insisted that it would be business as usual on the park tomorrow, with the players keen to focus their attentions on football rather than finance.
Hearts travel to Tayside to take on Dundee United tomorrow and Grainger said: “Things that happen off the pitch, are off the pitch and every one of the boys is just happy to get on with things on the training ground and in games.
“We just want to concentrate on playing well against Dundee United and everything else will sort itself out.
“We got a good result in the first game of the season but after that we kind of slipped away really and we need to get back to winning ways. Hopefully we can do that tomorrow.”
The Scottish Premier League, who introduced new financial fair play rules in the summer compelling all clubs to inform them of wage problems, were due to discuss the latest Hearts wages issue at a scheduled board meeting today.
This week’s problem followed four delays last season, which ultimately resulted in the players meeting with the PFA.
Speaking before being paid, McGlynn was hopeful here won’t be a need for the PFA to be called in again this season and said: “No-one said there’s going to be an ongoing issues with the wages, but you cannot be daft and think these things are not going to come up.
“You hope they’re not going to come up, obviously, because it is a distraction that you could do without.
“It has risen up and you have to deal with it, play the cards that you’re dealt.”
“The players have been here before, done it before and they’ve always been paid. It’s maybe not been on time, but they’ve always been paid.
“They’re more comfortable with the situation right now. Like anyone they’d have preferred to have been paid on time and not had this issue, but they’ve dealt with it very, very well so far.”
McGlynn said the group of players who had not been paid on time did not make a big issue of the delay and he revealed that Ryan Stevenson, who returned to Hearts last month after quitting for Ipswich in January in as a direct result of not being paid on time, had not been affected this time.