Hearts announce £2m profit thanks to Aaron Hickey sale plus huge benefactor cash injection and FoH money
Hearts have announced a £2million profit thanks to a combination of Aaron Hickey’s transfer to Bologna, large donations from benefactors and Foundation of Hearts income.
The Edinburgh club’s latest annual accounts apply to the period until June 30 this year and show that £4.7m was given by philanthropists including director James Anderson. The fan-led Foundation – now owners at Tynecastle Park – contributed £1.67m in total through monthly supporter pledges.
Hearts’ turnover was down by £4.6m due to the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, plus an enforced relegation to the Championship and a year with fans locked out of stadiums.
Government schemes, a £500,000 Scottish FA grant and the various donations all combined to offset that drop. Hickey’s transfer to Bologna in September 2020 accounted for most of the £944,000 earned from player sales during the year.
The club managed to reduce their overall wage bill by £1.2m from the previous year’s accounts. Staff costs dropped from £8.7m to £7.5m after management cut the size of the first-team playing squad at Riccarton.
A statement posted on the official club website read: “Today Heart of Midlothian PLC published its Annual Report for the year ended June 30, 2021.
“In a climate where lockdown constraints and the absence of fans would have a huge impact on all income streams, the board agreed a financial plan for year 20/21 which anticipated a significant drop in revenue and a financial loss across the year.
“While the assumptions underpinning that plan were very conservative, the impact of Covid was even greater than expected.
“All games across the season were played ‘behind closed doors’, heavily impacting our ticketing, commercial and retail income; and a second extended lockdown caused serious disruption to our non-matchday operations, including our Conference and Banqueting business, our Skyline Restaurant and our Supporters Bar.
“Our financial results for the year reflect the significant impact posed by the Covid pandemic. We are nevertheless pleased to announce a profit of over £2m for the year.
“As is clear from our figures, our principal benefactors and the Foundation of Hearts once again, made a number of very generous donations, which helped us enormously during this difficult year.
“The Covid-19 restrictions, coupled with the financial consequences of our enforced demotion to the Championship, saw our turnover reduced from £12.3m to £7.7m for the financial year.
“This fall in income was, to some extent, off-set by Government support schemes, such as the Furlough Scheme, COVID related grants from the Scottish Government and SPFL Trust, and player sales.
“In short, while this was an even more difficult year than could reasonably have been foreseen, we have come through it in good shape and ready to move forward with confidence.”
Foundation of Hearts contributed £603,000 directly to the club in the 2020 accounts and that number rose significantly in the 12 months to June 2021.
The Foundation paid their final installment to Ann Budge’s Bidco (1874) in January 2020. That concluded their £2.4m repayment plan and allowed fan-generated cash to be diverted straight to Hearts’ bank account.
FoH finalised their takeover at Tynecastle in August this year when Budge transferred her majority shareholding in Hearts – placing the club in the hands of fans.