• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Transfer ban 'punishing Hearts players' says Zaliukas

Marius Zaliukas, the Hearts captain, has criticised the Scottish Premier League for "punishing" the club with an extended transfer embargo.

The current 60-day signing ban, which was enforced after the Tynecastle outfit failed to pay wages on time in September and October, was due to end tomorrow. But the top-flight's governing body handed Hearts an indefinite block on recruiting new players on Thursday after it emerged that bonus and appearances fees are outstanding.

This latest blow could scupper Hearts' plans to bolster their threadbare attack by signing Lithuanian international striker Arturas Rimkevicius when the January transfer window opens.

Defender Zaliukas yesterday admitted he is relaxed about the wait for bonuses and hit out at the SPL. He said: "I actually don't know what they are thinking because they are punishing us players. All we want to do is go on to the pitch and win games and yet we have no players to strengthen the team. I was surprised to hear the news. Personally I don't have any problems with that, and you should maybe ask the other players how they feel. For me it is not an issue. I am just focusing on football and winning games."

Zaliukas has childhood friend Rimkevicius staying with him while he continues to train with the club but concedes the FK Siauliai marksman's immediate future has been plunged into doubt. He added: "He's trying to concentrate on his football and trying to convince the manager he is good enough to start games if it happens."

John McGlynn, the Hearts manager, insists the club will fight the SPL over their latest transfer ban on principle. He said: "The club are going to challenge it. It remains to be seen exactly what will transpire. There are other clubs who don't pay their bonuses until the end of the season either, that's why there are areas where this can be challenged."

Zaliukas, meanwhile, is looking forward to welcoming back Hearts

Continued on Page 2

Marius Zaliukas, the Hearts captain, has criticised the Scottish Premier League for "punishing" the club with an extended transfer embargo.

The current 60-day signing ban, which was enforced after the Tynecastle outfit failed to pay wages on time in September and October, was due to end tomorrow. But the top-flight's governing body handed Hearts an indefinite block on recruiting new players on Thursday after it emerged that bonus and appearances fees are outstanding.

This latest blow could scupper Hearts' plans to bolster their threadbare attack by signing Lithuanian international striker Arturas Rimkevicius when the January transfer window opens.

Defender Zaliukas yesterday admitted he is relaxed about the wait for bonuses and hit out at the SPL. He said: "I actually don't know what they are thinking because they are punishing us players. All we want to do is go on to the pitch and win games and yet we have no players to strengthen the team. I was surprised to hear the news. Personally I don't have any problems with that, and you should maybe ask the other players how they feel. For me it is not an issue. I am just focusing on football and winning games."

Zaliukas has childhood friend Rimkevicius staying with him while he continues to train with the club but concedes the FK Siauliai marksman's immediate future has been plunged into doubt. He added: "He's trying to concentrate on his football and trying to convince the manager he is good enough to start games if it happens."

John McGlynn, the Hearts manager, insists the club will fight the SPL over their latest transfer ban on principle. He said: "The club are going to challenge it. It remains to be seen exactly what will transpire. There are other clubs who don't pay their bonuses until the end of the season either, that's why there are areas where this can be challenged."

Zaliukas, meanwhile, is looking forward to welcoming back Hearts legend Rudi Skacel in tomorrow's visit of Dundee United. Hearts supporters are planning a round of applause for the Czech in the 51st minute, the shirt number worn by the midfielder that is in reference to May's 5-1 Scottish Cup final thrashing of city rivals Hibernian. He added: "Rudi's a legend here, he helped us win two cups and everyone is going to be up for it, especially in the 51st minute. I'll be doing it as well, he's the man."

Peter Houston, the Dundee United manager, hopes his side take out their frustration from last weekend's draw against Inverness on Hearts. He said: "The players were frustrated with the fact we didn't get three points last week when we should have done. There were loads of times throughout the course of the game that we played some really good stuff and should have killed the game off. We've spoken about it and hopefully we can get the right result away to Hearts.

"I'd be worried if we weren't creating chances but we certainly need to make sure we defend corner kicks better, and that's what we've been working on this week with a view to this game at Tynecastle."

United have a reasonable record at Tynecastle and Houston hopes they can keep that going in their quest to kick-start their season for real. He said: "We've done fairly well there in the recent past. It's always a nice and venue to go and play football and there's usually a good atmosphere. The fans are right on top of the pitch which can bring out the best in players.

"I'm obviously hoping our players rise to the occasion and it's around about the turn of the year that we usually have a good run, but hopefully it starts a wee bit earlier. We're actually in a better position points-wise than what we were this time last year. We just need to try and step things up, get on a decent run, and see where it takes us in terms of the table.

Meanwhile, following advice from the SFA and talks with Rangers, ticket prices for the Scottish Cup fifth-round tie on February 2 have been set at £15 for adults and £5 for concessions, with a section of the stadium reserved for those Rangers fans who wish to attend. Those reduced admission prices have been agreed in a constructive dialogue with the Ibrox club.

Derek Robertson, a United director, said, "Although Rangers do not wish to take a ticket allocation for this particular match, opposition fans are always welcome at Tannadice and we will be happy to reserve an appropriate section of the stadium for any Rangers fans who wish to attend this fixture."

Arrangements for ticket sales will follow in due course.

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

132089