Hearts players to receive pay late for a second time

UKIO BANKAS Investment Group have stressed there is no cash flow problem at Hearts following the latest delay in players' wage payments.

Vladimir Romanov's Lithuanian company, which finances the Edinburgh club, insisted this morning that all weekly salaries would be paid into players' accounts today after payment failed to be processed as scheduled on Friday.

The Evening News can reveal that UBIG and Hearts are in the process of implementing a new structure for bonus payments, aimed at ensuring the squad remains motivated towards securing third place in the SPL this season. Win bonuses are paid separately but salaries would be in the banks of the Hearts players today, according to UBIG officials.

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A definitive explanation for the delay was not forthcoming, however the group's head of marketing and communications, Jurga Chomskyte-McGeever, sought to alleviate concerns of a financial crisis at Tynecastle.

"The money was processed on Friday before the Rangers game. It will be straight into the players' accounts today," she said. "As far as UBIG is concerned, our people are trying to look into why this happened. From our side, the wages have been processed.

"There is not a problem with cash flow to my knowledge. The funds have been allocated and processed. It is between the club and our sports division how they deal with the money."

Sergejus Fedotovas, a director of both Hearts and UBIG, said: "There is no situation at all, the players have been paid. The club processed payments on Friday but they haven't reached the players' bank accounts yet."

UBIG gave no guarantees that there would be no repeat of the situation, which first arose back in September when Hearts players were paid almost a week late. The club blamed a "technical hitch" on that occasion.

"We can never say it won't happen again but there is no reason to have any concern," continued Chomskyte-McGeever. "It has been a one-day delay so in our terms so it is only a small problem, nothing to worry about.

"We are trying to introduce new motivation systems so that the club stays in third place.

"We are working on that and thinking of the best way to deal with players to keep them going in the same direction. This is a club issue, though."

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