Hearts cutbacks could be aided by expiry of 19 players' contracts

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Hearts squad
The Hearts squad could look very different next season

Savings-seeking Hearts have plenty of leeway to cut their wage bill, with 19 senior players out-of-contract by the summer, BBC Scotland understands.

The majority have first-team experience, with a small number of younger players who are currently out on loan also due to end their deals.

Midfielder Rudi Skacel and keeper Janos Balogh are out of contract with the Edinburgh club in January.

David Obua and Marian Kello are among high earners tied up until the summer.

In addition to the Uganda midfielder and Slovakia goalkeeper, midfielder Ryan Stevenson, who recently earned his first Scotland cap, and Iceland midfielder Eggert Jonsson are among high earners who have contracts that expire at the end of the season.

Strikers Kevin Kyle, who has been missing since last season through injury, Stephen Elliott and Calum Elliot, plus winger Suso Santana, are also out-of-contract in the summer.

Many of the under-19 squad are also in a similar position.

Hearts director Sergejus Fedotovas this month suggested that Hearts would be shedding a number of senior players in the coming months.

The Scottish Premier League club has been dogged in recent months by controversy over the late payment of wages and have blamed a sizeable tax bill for the latest problems.

Owner Vladimir Romanov has also indicated his willingness to sell the club, although this week .

A further 14 players who have had first-team experience are out-of-contract the following summer and those include defenders Andy Webster and Danny Grainger, midfielder Ian Black and winger David Templeton.

Hearts player contract expiry

January 2012: Janos Balogh, Rudi Skacel.

Summer 2012: Calum Elliot (currently on loan to Dundee), Stephen Elliott, Gary Glen, Eggert Jonsson, Marian Kello, Kevin Kyle, Jamie MacDonald, Kevin McHattie, David Obua, Robert Ogleby (currently on loan to East Fife), Matthew Park (currently on loan to East Fife), Mark Ridgers (currently on loan to East Fife), Suso Santana, Ryan Stevenson, Jonathan Stewart, Jason Thomson (currently on loan to Dunfermline).

Summer 2013: Darren Barr, Ian Black, Andrew Driver, Danny Grainger, Dylan McGowan (currently on loan to Brisbane Roar), Adrian Mrowiec, Ryan McGowan, Denis Prychynenko (currently on loan to Raith Rovers), Scott Robinson, Mehdi Taouil, David Templeton, Craig Thomson (currently on loan to Kaunas), Andy Webster, Marius Zaliukas.

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