Hearts V Ross County at Tynecastle Stadium : Match Preview
Hearts V Ross County - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Points penalty would be double blow - MacDonald
Goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald feels it would be the Hearts players and supporters who would suffer if heavier sanctions are imposed for future delayed payment of players.
Hearts were this week issued with a player registration embargo of 60 days, until December 23, by the Scottish Premier League after admitting to failing to pay all of their players and staff on schedule for September and October.
Finances have been tight at Tynecastle since majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov revealed he was disillusioned with football and four times last season wages were delivered late.
MacDonald understands punishments must be meted out, but is concerned the players will suffer two-fold if stiffer penalties are imposed.
"It's difficult. If you're not working within the rules there have to be sanctions," MacDonald said.
"It is a fair thing to happen. I think there was talk of a point deduction, which I don't think would be fair, it wouldn't be fair on us.
"The last thing we want is to have a points deduction.
"We're the ones already not getting paid and then to get a point deduction on top of that would be quite difficult to take.
"It's a difficult situation. It hasn't been the extremes that it was last year, weeks upon weeks. This time it's been a couple of days and the club have found the money."
Hearts are seeking to address the issue by encouraging fans to purchase a shareholding of up to 10%.
If successful, the share offer, at 11p per share, could accrue #1.79million and the possibility of future fan ownership could be explored.
MacDonald and manager John McGlynn welcomed the scheme.
McGlynn said: "The football club have recognised that they've got a problem and they're trying to do something to get out of that.
"It's a rallying call to get an opportunity to buy in and help the football club when it does need it.
"There are different ways. The share issue is the major one, but getting full houses would also be beneficial, a step in the right direction.
"It would be a good opportunity to try to help the football club over a difficult period of time.
"The more money that comes in is going to help us in the short term and the long term."
McGlynn is frustrated to have to continually address off-field issues, but insists the scheme was not an overnight thought and praised the board for their attempts to address the financial issues at the club.
There are concerns for Hearts' future if the share issue is not well subscribed, but McGlynn defended Romanov's impact on the club, pointing to the two Scottish Cup wins in six years, when cross-city neighbours Hibernian have not lifted the trophy in 111 years.
There are no significant changes to the Hearts squad for the clash with Ross County.
Reserve goalkeeper Mark Ridgers (knee) is in line to return in mid-November and right-back Jamie Hamill is also nearing a comeback following a lengthy absence with a cruciate knee injury.
Fringe player Dale Carrick will be out for six weeks after undergoing a hernia operation this week.
Ross County manager Derek Adams hopes his side can do the Edinburgh double in the capital.
County claimed a 3-2 win over Hibernian in Dingwall last weekend and are seeking a good result at Tynecastle.
Adams said: "We've been doing well. We've scored goals against a team that were second in the league.
"We're in a positive frame of mind, we've come off an excellent result against Hibernian and we want to go to Tynecastle and win.
"If we do that we go two points ahead of them. That's what we've got to look forward to."
County, promoted to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League last term, began their first season in the top flight well, extending their unbeaten league run to 40 games.
Three successive losses prior to the international break saw the streak end before Hibs were beaten.
Adams watched Hearts, subject of a transfer embargo after two consecutive months of failing to pay wages on time, beat Motherwell last Sunday, but is confident his side are capable of an upset.
He added: "They've got a good side, physical side, but we can go there and cause them trouble. We've got to deal with their threats as well."
Former Dundee United defender Mihael Kovacevic made his full debut in the defeat of Hibs along with 19-year-old attacker Steven Ross and both could feature again at Tynecastle.
County have no fresh injury worries, but Sam Morrow and Martin Scott were added to the injury list ahead of the 3-2 win over Hibs and are missing once again, while Alex Cooper (ankle) and Mark Corcoran (groin) are both still out.
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