Hearts bank £5million Euro windfall as Steven Naismith strengthens summer transfer kitty

Hearts may have had a bad day at Celtic Park yesterday, losing quite comfortably after two back-to-back wins over the Hoops.

But it was still a successful weekend for them on the whole as Kilmarnock's defeat to Rangers has confirmed the Jambos' third-placed finish. Steven Naismith's men are 11 points clear of Derek McInnes and with only three games now remaining that is insurmountable for the Ayrshire outfit.

It means the Tynecastle side have confirmed group stage football in Europe next season. They will compete in the Europa League play-off round and a win would carry them through but a defeat would still mean they had the fallback of the Conference League, as they did two years ago and Aberdeen did this season.

It would normally be the Scottish Cup winners that would have that reward but with Celtic and Rangers in the final and already qualified for Europe through league placings, that spot goes to the team third in the league.

They are expected to be seeded for the play-off and that would mean a likely difficult tie. Coming with that is a £5million windfall and with the Jambos not having to make any improvements to facilities this time, more of that will be profit for them than it was two years ago.

It will be a huge boost for Naismith's summer plans with Yan Dhanda, Blair Spittal and James Penrice already signed up on pre-contracts to be Hearts players next season.