Dalglish suggests Hearts could be forced to play in lower leagues

By John McGinley

March 30, 2020

Celtic legend Kenny Dalglish is concerned further chaos could reign at Tynecastle, resulting in Hearts’ expulsion from the Scottish Premiership, writing in his Sunday Post column.

As we know, back in 2012 when Rangers were liquidated, a new Ibrox club was forced to start in the equivalent of Scottish League Two.

It took them years to work their way up to the top-flight and they haven’t won a single major honour in that time.

Dalglish is worried about Hearts’ ongoing situation regarding players’ wages could see them demoted, with the former attacker specifically referencing the previous situation in Govan.

Ann Budge has set a 31st March deadline for the playing squad to accept a 50% reduction in wages, citing financial problems as a result of the ongoing public health crisis.

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The Hoops legend has floated the idea that players could choose to walk away on a free transfer if they don’t agree and their salaries are suspended.

As quoted by The Sunday Post, Dalglish said: “I don’t want to see the club descend into further chaos. But if they do not have enough players to fulfil their fixtures, will they then be automatically relegated?

“Indeed, some might call for them to be put down all the divisions, as happened to Rangers in 2012. This situation could end up leaving the SPFL and SFA with an almighty mess to try and clean up.

“So let’s all hope that does not happen and a sensible resolution can be found inside Tynecastle in the next 48 hours.”

Clearly there are worst-case scenarios being discussed here, but Dalglish’s vocal concerns are a sign we are entering a critical few weeks for Scottish football.

Big decisions have to be made on a large league-wide scale and at individual clubs, from owners right down to players.

General view of Hampden / (Photo by Oliver Hardt – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

At the moment it feels like there’s a waiting period at the SPFL and Scottish FA, perhaps looking to determine how things play out in wider society.

However, critical financial concerns could end up forcing everyone’s hand and as Dalglish alludes to, this week’s Hearts deadline could be a big part of the overall story.