Morning briefing: Donald Ford tells of Hearts vision | 13 injured in Biggar bus crash | MPs call for reversal of coastguard closures

HEARTS legend Donald Ford, who is a member of the consortium seeking to take over the club, has spoken of his love for the Tynecastle outfit and his vision for its future.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 15th November 2012, 12:19 pm

Ford, who netted over 100 goals for the club between 1964 and 1976, is a key member of the Foundation of Hearts group which is trying to buy out owner Vladimir Romanov and turn Hearts into a fan-owned club.

Having spent two years hosting behind closed door talks with Romanov alongside fellow consortium members Alex Mackie, Brian Cormack and Jim Bryant, Ford helped to launch their bid last weekend as the club faced its winding-up order.

Multi-millionaire Ann Budge, who made a reported £40 million when she sold off her stake in an IT consultancy she helped to found, has also signed up.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Mr Ford said: “It would be a pleasure to see the club getting a chance to move forward without a crisis every other year. First of all it means everything to me as a Hearts supporter to get the club back on its feet and then, secondly, to realise it is owned by the most important people at Tynecastle. The supporters are the club.”

Alex Mackie also offered more detail of the proposed bid when he said: “We’ve always intended for it to be through a membership fee. There are 300,000 members at Barcelona and they are all paying a small membership fee.

“If we could harness 25,000 Hearts fans, and we think we can, paying £10 a month then that’s £250,000 a month. The fans should know that would be used legitimately. “A huge amount of stuff has been done. We’ll have a website soon and there are some terrific ideas.”

13 injured as bus plunges down embankment near Biggar

THIRTEEN people were injured when a bus crashed 20 feet down an embankment on the A702 near Biggar.

Specialist rescue teams were called in to release casualties on the 30-seater bus and seven people were taken to hospital after the accident at around 8.30pm last night.

None of their injuries is understood to be life-threatening.

The bus was operated by Dumfries company Mcewans,

A Strathclyde Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “Crews worked in extreme conditions to stabilise the bus, make the situation safe and assess the casualties.

“It was quickly established that there were a total of 13 casualties with varying injuries who were assisted from the bus and provided with medical assistance from the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“The cause of the accident is yet unknown and is being investigated by police.”

MPs committee calls for reversal of coastguard closures

A COMMITTEE of MPs today called for a reversal of the decision to close coastguard stations in the Forth and the Clyde.

The Scottish affairs committee warned the closure would leave a “major gap in local knowledge among coastguards in the remaining four maritime rescue co-ordination centres”.

Coastguard staff at Aberdeen have taken on responsibility for the Forth area and after the Clyde coastguard station closes, responsibility for the area will be divided between Belfast and Stornoway.