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Hearts' appeal against transfer embargo to be heard today

THE Scottish Professional Football League will today consider Hearts' appeal to have their transfer embargo partially lifted during a board meeting at Hampden.

The Tynecastle club are currently in the midst of a registration ban after falling into administration last summer, leaving the club increasingly reliant on a thin squad of largely inexperienced youngsters.Hearts' administrators, BDO, held informal talks with an SPFL representative last Wednesday and were told their claim would be heard today.

Bryan Jackson, the senior business restructuring partner at the financial company, has followed that conversation up by submitting a document outlining their case ahead of the meeting. The SPFL have previously been clear in their stance that the club must serve their punishment for suffering an insolvency event.

However, Hearts will request leniency, citing the mental and physical fatigue on the ill-prepared young players who are now 20 points adrift at the foot of the SPFL Premiership, while claiming they would be little threat to the sides above them in the standings if allowed to bring in a couple of extra bodies.

Two key requests will be submitted. BDO are hopeful the SPFL will indicate their willingness to allow the club a "one in, one out policy", as fears abound that clubs could swoop for their players during the current transfer window. Ryan Stevenson has already been linked with a move to China, while the finer details of Adam King's move to Swansea City are expected to be ironed out in the next 24 hours.

BDO will also ask for special dispensation to sign free agents, with at least two senior players thought to be willing to join for little recompense. Any signing, however, could not be made until February 1 due to a separate registration ban put in place by the Scottish FA judicial panel.

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