Ann Budge: I won't fight against Hearts relegation until the death

But Tynecastle club’s owner thinks SPFL resolution will be defeated
Hearts owner Ann Budge.Hearts owner Ann Budge.
Hearts owner Ann Budge.

Hearts owner Ann Budge says she will not fight relegation “till the death” in an apparent softening of her stance on the vexed issue of ending the season early.

Budge had previously vowed to take legal action if any move was made to demote the Tynecastle club before the campaign had been completed.

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Hearts are currently bottom of the Premiership, four points adrift after 30 matches.

The chances of the remaining eight rounds of Premiership fixtures being played are looking increasingly remote due to the shutdown caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, the Scottish Professional Football League recommended that its 42 member clubs vote in favour of a resolution to terminate the 2019/20 season in the Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2, with final season placings determined by points per game in league matches played to date by each club.

If the SPFL Board determines that the remaining Premiership matches cannot be played, the Ladbrokes Premiership would also be terminated, with final season placings determined on the same basis.

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Budge believes there is enough opposition to the resolution to stop it being passed but admitted that if it was voted through, Hearts might have to take their medicine.

In an interview with Sky Sports, she said: “We are where we are in the league positions and if everything is talked about and that is what the community of football clubs believe is right then I will not fight it till the death. How is that going to end?

“If we have to deal with relegation, we will deal with relegation. But I do just keep coming back to the point of who is going to benefit?”

Rangers, Partick Thistle and Falkirk have voiced their opposition to the SPFL resolution but Livingston have become the first top flight club to publicly back the proposal.

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Budge said she had spoken to clubs in the top two divisions and reckons there are enough opponents to the plan to stop it receiving the 75 per cent majority it needs.

She added: “Based on the conversations I have had - and I’ve talked to a number of clubs in the Premiership and Championship although I haven’t talked to League One or Two clubs because I don’t have the ready contacts - but I don’t believe this will be supported.”

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