Hearts hit with longer embargo

  • Last Updated: October 24 2012, 19:47 BST

Hearts have been placed under a transfer embargo until December 23 by the Scottish Premier League over their failure to pay wages on time this month.

Hearts: Banned from signing players until December 23

The decision was taken following a meeting of an SPL board sub-committee on Wednesday after the Edinburgh club admitted to late payments for coaching staff and players for a second consecutive month.

Hearts claim all outstanding wages from October have now been paid but have been hit with a ban on signing any players for 60 days.

An SPL statement confirmed: "A sub-committee of the Scottish Premier League Board today considered a charge against Heart of Midlothian Football Club under SPL Rule A6.21, which concerned the club's failure to pay coaching staff and players on time in October.

"The club satisfied the sub-committee that all outstanding wages from October had now been paid and, accordingly, the player registration embargo, which arose from that failure, has now been lifted.

"The charge under SPL Rule A6.21 was admitted by the club. The decision of the sub-committee was to make Heart of Midlothian Football Club immediately subject to a further player registration embargo of 60 days.

"The club will be embargoed from registering any professional players up to, and including, 23 December 2012."

The hearing - after six players and manager John McGlynn were paid a week late - was the second in three days into the wage delays at Hearts.

The club were "reprimanded and warned" by an SPL board sub-committee on Monday after paying some players and McGlynn late in September, while an automatic transfer embargo was continued.

Wednesday's punishment effectively prevents Hearts from signing any free agents during the 60-day period, ruling out the prospect of a Gorgie return for Rudi Skacel for the time being.

Skacel has been training with his former club but would have to wait until the festive period before he would be able to sign for the Jambos again.

Hearts opted to accept the punishment, confirming they had no plans to challenge the SPL sanctions.

A club spokesperson said: "We are satisfied that this matter has now been resolved and accept the sanction imposed by the sub-committee."

Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster has revealed Hearts have not provided assurances that they will pay wages on time in future.

He told Sky Sports News: "We didn't receive any guarantees that there wouldn't be a repeat.

"Ultimately we can only judge any breach of the rules as and when it arises - look at the circumstances, hear what the club has to say, and then form a view.

"We considered a whole range of different possibilities.

"We felt a sporting penalty was required because of the sporting advantage that had been obtained by Hearts by not having to pay players and coaches on time, and the appropriate sporting penalty we believed was a player registration embargo for 60 days."

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