Foundation of Hearts complete Â£3m payment to Tynecastle stand
Hearts owner Ann Budge today received the final installment from fans towards Tynecastle Park's new Â£15million main stand.
Foundation of Hearts chairman Stuart Wallace was on hand to make the last payment, completing FoH's Â£3m contribution to the project.
The fan-led organisation will now revert to repaying Budge for the Â£2.5million she provided to help Hearts out of administration in 2014. Once that is paid in full, Budge then plans to transfer ownership of Hearts to the Foundation.
Budge and FoH agreed two years ago that repayment to her be deferred to divert monies towards Tynecastle's redevelopment for a period of 24 months. It equates to Â£125,000 per month from around 8,000 supporters who donate cash to the Foundation.
Budge also opted to waive interest payments during that time, meaning she has contributed Â£300,000 to the stand.
Wallace said: "In 2016, Ann Budge made an offer to FoH pledgers to defer repayment of the BidCo loan in favour of contributing Â£3m towards the development of the main stand.
"That offer was overwhelmingly accepted by the FoH membership and we are delighted to have now paid the agreed Â£3 million on schedule.
"We now continue on our extraordinary journey which has seen Hearts go from the brink of liquidation to a club that is laying down the foundations for a bright future, epitomised by the development of the new main stand at Tynecastle Park.
"The journey, made possible thanks to the monthly contributions of thousands of Hearts supporters, now continues and that backing will be absolutely vital as we move towards fan ownership of the club."
Budge said: "The backing that the Club has received, and indeed continues to receive, from Hearts supporters is nothing short of incredible. A prime example of this is the Â£3m contribution made by FoH pledgers to the Tynecastle Redevelopment Fund. I would like to say a huge thank you to every single FoH pledger for their contributions.
"We now have a magnificent new main stand at Tynecastle Park - something that quite simply would not have been possible in the timescales we have achieved without the constant backing of the Hearts supporters.
"We have come a long way since those dark days in 2014 and the way Hearts fans have rallied behind the club is remarkable.
"We set out with the goal of making Hearts the biggest fan-owned club within the UK and we are on course to achieve this within the next two years. How amazing is that!
"By continuing to pull together in this way over the coming years, there is no limit to what we can achieve."