THE administrator who helped save Hearts from the brink of liquidation says he is amazed at how well the club have rebounded thanks to the fans and owner Ann Budge.
In 2013, when Bryan Jackson first started sifting through the rubble following the collapse of the Vladimir Romanov regime, he gave the club a 50-50 chance of survival, at best.
But, speaking at the launch of a new Supporters Direct Scotland initiative, which will offer support and advice on finances and governance to fans looking for greater involvement in the running of their clubs, Jackson said he could not have envisaged such a quick turnaround in fortunes at the Tynecastle club.
“I compare it to an operation. Some people might get a knee operation and be back walking very quickly, for others it might take a year or two, so Hearts was a great example of not only coming through the operation in very difficult circumstances, but that hard core support was so strong that it actually meant they recovered really quickly both on and off the field.”
At Hearts he helped to broker a unique three-way deal between the club’s creditors, Budge and the fans’ group Foundation of Hearts to safeguard the club’s future but he admitted he has been surprised by the speed in which they have found their feet on and off the pitch.
“They are probably an extreme example in terms of recovery, I wouldn’t have expected it to be quite as quick as it was there. If you look at Dunfermline, they survived, moved on under fan ownership and now have recovered well. They recovered well off the pitch. It probably took them a bit longer on the pitch, but that’s coming now and the support of the fans is coming back as well.”