Hearts players paid December wages

PA Sport
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Tynecastle Stadium

Hearts have announced their players had received their overdue December wages - on the day the Scottish Premier League imposed a seven-day deadline to comply with a number of orders or be faced with unlimited sanctions.

A SPL sub-committee met on Wednesday after players' union PFA Scotland submitted a formal complaint on behalf of Hearts' first-team squad on December 16, when wages were not paid on time for a third consecutive month.

A statement on the club's official website, www.heartsfc.co.uk, read: "Hearts will carefully consider today's SPL judication into the matter of late payment of players' wages and will decide on the course of further action."

The SPL made a series of demands - ordering the payment of December's wages, interest owed, costs for proceedings, plus timely payment of this month's wages, due on January 16 - with a January 11 deadline in order to halt the financial uncertainty surrounding the club.

Hearts have announced one of those orders had been met, but insisted the payment on the day of the SPL's meeting was merely coincidence.

The statement added: "Meanwhile, the club has today received funds and has paid the outstanding players' wages for December. The payment is the result of successful business conducted by the club and it is coincidental that this has happened on the same day as the judication by the SPL."

The sale of Eggert Jonsson to Wolves, which was completed on January 1 for an undisclosed fee, is believed to have been key in today's payment by Hearts. The SPL had earlier issued a statement making demands of the Tynecastle-based club.

The statement read: "An SPL board sub-committee today adjudicated in the dispute between 14 players and Heart of Midlothian FC. The SPL board sub-committee has ordered December wages to be paid by January 11.

"Interest on all sums overdue from October, November and December wages must also be paid by January 11. January salaries must be paid on time on January 16. The club must also pay the claimants' legal expenses and the SPL's costs of today's hearing.

"Both sides have the right to appeal the decision to the Scottish FA within seven days."

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