Crisis talks at Hearts FC

CRISIS club Hearts have promised to pay up their players’ missing wages next week after three senior pros demanded showdown talks on behalf of the entire first-team squad.

Jamie Hamill was one of the three Hearts stars to hold talks with club over unpaid wages

Ian Black, Ryan Stevenson and Jamie Hamill – met with Tynecastle managing director David Southern to voice the concerns of their team-mates whose pay packets are now more than two weeks late.

The dramatic move by the trio came after desperate team-mates begged the club for emergency loans to help them meet mortgage and car repayments.

The squad last night lifted their threat of an official complaint to the SPL after being warned by boss Paolo Sergio and Sergejus Fedotovas – right-hand man to owner Vladimir Romanov – that it would exacerbate the situation.

Chief executive Southern insisted the money is on its way from the Edinburgh club’s holding company in Lithuania but could not give a specific date for when it will drop into the players’ bank accounts.

But yesterday skipper Marius Zaliukas, who it is believed has been speaking to owner Romanov by phone, was assuring increasingly worried colleagues their cash should be paid up in full by the start of next week.

Last night the PFA confirmed the threat of a formal complaint had been withdrawn as had the possibility of invoking FIFA Article 14 for breach of contract with just cause.

PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart, currently attending the FIFPro Congress in Israel, said: “The players trust their manager’s word and as a gesture of good faith the players agreed to postpone their complaint.

“Our members have no wish to resort to legal action; they simply want to be paid.

“If the salaries are not forthcoming they reserve the right to instruct PFA Scotland to involve the SPL and take any other action that is appropriate.”