Tynecastle troubles

Hearts players agree to Budge’s wage cut demands

Problems: Stendel and Budge (pic: SNS Group)

Most of the Hearts first-team squad have reluctantly accepted pay cuts rather than have their contracts suspended.

A number had wanted to avoid losing any wages by taking deferrals as the club battles with the financial implications of the coronavirus crisis.

However, owner Ann Budge responded by saying she couldn’t consider that idea and instead set a deadline of 5pm last night for players to agree to her demands.

The cuts being taken by the players range from 10% to 30%. Manager Daniel Stendel is currently working without pay, while captain Steven Naismith took a 50% reduction some weeks ago.

Budge, who has bankrolled a bloated top-team squad in excess of 30 players, said on Friday: “I outlined the rationale and also explained why a deferral is simply not an option for the club.

“To reiterate, I cannot – and will not, in good conscience – leave the club in a position again where football debt is left as a ‘legacy’ for those who follow.”

The bottom-of-the-table club has already launched season tickets, despite not knowing what division they will be in next season, as they look to bring in much-needed capital.

SPFL agrees to Rangers EGM call

Rangers’ attempt to force an independent investigation into the SPFL’s controversial season-ending vote will go ahead on 12 May.

The Ibrox club, along with Hearts and Stranraer, sent requisitions asking for an EGM to be held on resolutions put forward.

The league’s governing body has given the go-ahead with 32 from 42 votes being required to trigger the external probe.

Controversy raged after the SPFL allowed Dundee to change their critical ‘no’ vote to a ‘yes’ thus granting the authorities the power to call a halt to the Scottish season.

That would see Celtic crowned champions for a record-equalling ninth year in row and Hearts relegated should the SPFL rule there is not enough time to complete the campaign.

Rangers claim they have a “dossier of evidence” on what actually happened having been contacted by a “whistleblower” and said they plan to make it “readily available” ahead of any independent probe.

They have demanded the suspension of SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal adviser Rod McKenzie, while an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the vote are held.

After a board meeting last night, the SPFL said: “The SPFL board met this evening to consider requisitions by Heart of Midlothian FC, Rangers FC and Stranraer FC calling for an EGM to consider a resolution put forward by them.

“The board considered the request and has now called an EGM for 11am on Tuesday, May 12.”

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