Hearts are being mercilessly trolled online by opposition supporters – and their own – after admitting to fielding an ineligible player in last night’s cup tie against Cove Rangers.
Craig Levein’s men won the match 2-1, but it turns out second-half sub Andrew Irving shouldn’t have been introduced at all, as he wasn’t actually registered due to an administrative error back in January.
Hearts chief executive Ann Budge owned up to the mistake in a statement on the club’s website this evening, saying: “It is with much embarrassment that we have to advise that during last night’s Betfred Cup group stage match away to Cove Rangers, Hearts inadvertently fielded an ineligible player.
🗣 Craig Levein pleased with creativity on show as Hearts win opening Betfred Cup match at Cove Rangers
— Heart of Midlothian (@JamTarts) July 18, 2018
“Due to an administrative error on the club’s part at the end of the January transfer window, Andrew Irving entered the field of play in the 65th minute as an unregistered player.
“Andrew was given an extension contract in January 2018 and his extension paperwork was all properly completed and in order. However, it was not loaded onto the online SFA registration system at the time.
“His official registration, therefore, ran out on 9th June 2018. Unfortunately, this was not picked up in advance of last night’s game.
“While stringent processes are already in place to try to prevent something of this nature occurring, clearly mistakes can happen. An additional step in our internal procedures will be implemented immediately to try to ensure this cannot happen again.”
Budge also confirmed Hearts’ punishment will be determined at a SPFL hearing on Monday, but it remains to be seen if they are hit with a fine – or expelled from the competition all together.
As you can imagine, there’s plenty of fans on social media who find the situation rather hilarious:
Hearts apologise for fielding an ineligible player, admitting “a Rangers Banter Years scriptwriter left their notes lying about and we stole the idea”
— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) July 19, 2018
Hearts operational side of the business sounds like a shambles.
From the seats fiasco to an unregistered youth player.
No wonder after the 13 signings levein has made.
I fear for a shite year under levein hope I'm wrong.
— martinoboomboom (@martinostella) July 19, 2018
Looking forward to Hearts being thrown out the League Cup.
— Russell (@russabercrombie) July 19, 2018
— Dolly 🇱🇻 (@StevieWhyte1874) July 19, 2018
Laughing stock man
— Grant Dalton (@Grant_Dalton) July 19, 2018
Nice of us to give the other clubs in the group a head start 🙌🏻🙌🏻
— Zak Gibson (@ZakAkiraGibson) July 19, 2018
Any excuse to catch up wi Rangers in the statement league
— Grumpy Dad (@ArghArgh) July 19, 2018
Bring back romanov
— Stuart Donaldson (@steege1874) July 19, 2018
Such a well ran club
— Douglas Archibald (@DougieHMFC) July 19, 2018
Was the admin completed by the same clown that forgot to order the seats!?!?
— Stuart Ainslie (@SIAinslie) July 19, 2018
Stanraer and Cove Rangers were handed £2,000 fines two years ago after naming ineligible players in Betfred Cup team-sheets, whilst Albion Rovers were fined £2,000 and ultimately booted out of the Irn-Bru Cup for fielding an ineligible player in their first round win over Spartans last year.
But what do you think of the situation?