Michael Stewart has launched a pretty scathing assessment of a situation at Hearts.
Owner Ann Budge has implemented 50% wage cuts at Tynecastle in an attempt to stem loss of cash as Scottish football’s shutdown continues.
An email to football agents from Hearts’ Head of Pro Player Recruitment John Murray has been leaked recently though, suggesting the club will have momey to spend in the summer. According to former Jambo Stewart, that’s not on.
“If I was a Hearts player and I saw the email John Murray sent out to agents, I’d be livid,” Stewart wrote in his Scottish Sun column. “But that is nothing compared to how angry I’d be if I was a member of staff there right now.
“Ann Budge might have generated a lot of goodwill since rescuing the Jambos seven years ago. But that’s been erased in a stroke. And someone must be responsible for that. Either Budge signed off on it despite asking people to take 50 per cent wage cuts or she didn’t know about it and things like this are going on behind her back at Tynecastle.
“Either way, it’s not a good look. And, not surprisingly, it has upset a lot of people. If you’re a staff member seeing that, you’d be right to ask what on earth is going on? If, as a player, you read the stuff about bringing in free transfers, that’s not great in itself. I mean, what message does that send when you’ve just been asked to halve your wages?”
It’s not unusual to see Stewart pull no punches when it comes to his opinion. But it certainly will be interesting to see the response to this email.
During a financially difficult time for everyone, surely it is unlikely that moves will be made for new members of the playing staff? We’ll soon find out over the coming months.
For now, the objective for many clubs will be keeping heads above water as football’s return looks months away.