SPL clear Hearts over payments

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The Scottish Premier League has dismissed a charge against Hearts for an alleged breach of their rules.

The Edinburgh club were charged with "failing to behave with the utmost good faith" over the delayed payment of player wages earlier this month.

However, a statement from the SPL on Friday confirmed: "The Scottish Premier League today announced that the charge against Heart of Midlothian FC for an alleged breach of SPL Rule A3.1 has been dismissed."

Hearts were charged after the SPL announced that wages were delivered late for a fourth successive month.

The claims were refuted by the Jambos, who insisted they had "documentary evidence" to confirm salaries of players and staff, including manager Paulo Sergio, were paid on time for the first time since September.

Hearts have now escaped possible punishment after the SPL accepted they were "acting in good faith" by instructing their bank to make the payments on January 16, even though funds did not reach players' bank accounts until the following morning.

The SPL statement continued: "An SPL Board sub-committee determined that for the club to have complied with the order of 4th January, it had to have the players' wages in the players' bank accounts and available for their use by not later than midnight on 16th January.

"In fact the wages did not reach the players' bank accounts until the morning of 17th January.

"However, the SPL Board sub-committee found that the club's directors believed that, by irrevocably instructing their bank on 16th January, that was sufficient to make payment and comply with the order. Because the club's directors believed that they were complying with the order, Heart of Midlothian were acting in good faith.

"Accordingly the charge against the club was dismissed."

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