Pledges to Foundation of Hearts have increased sharply this week, with almost 7800 fans now supporting the group’s takeover.
The push is on to try and hit the 8000 mark if possible but Foundation officials today declared their delight at the number of new members.
The Evening News has learned that the fans’ umbrella group received more new subscribers in two days this week than the previous two months. That followed Monday’s announcement that Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG) had agreed to hand their stake in Hearts to the Foundation, allowing a transfer of ownership to move forward.
It is estimated Hearts should be out of administration before the end of April with the Foundation as their new owners. Legal procedures to transfer almost 80 per cent of club shares from UBIG and Ukio Bankas to the fans’ group must be completed first. Nonetheless, supporters continue to pledge their money to the cause by signing up for direct debits.
The impressive increase in pledges has also been fuelled by the Foundation’s #createhistory social media campaign, which included emails to 50,000 Hearts supporters. Several more promotional initiatives are planned over the coming weeks, including a full page advert on page 16 of today’s Evening News and further activity to coincide with Hearts’ next home match against Celtic on Saturday, February 22.
Privately, the Foundation would be thrilled to reach 8000 pledges if they can, although this is not an essential figure. The six-month anniversary of direct debits being taken from bank accounts passed yesterday as Scotland’s biggest supporter movement continues to gather pace.
A spokesperson for Foundation of Hearts said: “The impact of the last few days has been fantastic. It’s galvanised the support, again, to believe that the club we all love can finally have a future as illustrious as it’s past.
“We’re seeing supporters continue to sign up to make a monthly contribution and we can’t thank them enough. One supporter at a time, they are breathing new life into Heart of Midlothian.
“We must maintain this momentum and, as our chairman Ian Murray has said in the last couple of days, we encourage every supporter who can do so to set up a direct debit.
“We really are now starting to #createhistory. This is Scottish football’s biggest supporter revolution, and while it will again be a rollercoaster, we’ve no doubt, this is truly an adventure we can all be part of.”
Supporters can set up their direct debit at www.foundationofhearts.org.
Meanwhile, Hearts winger Sam Nicholson is expected to be fit for next weekend’s league match with Inverness despite being stretchered off with a rib injury in last weekend’s League Cup semi-final.