Hearts boss wants football to embrace Budge expertise

Ann Budge. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Ann Budge. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Robbie Neilson believes Scottish football should embrace the expertise of Ann Budge – not rail against it.

The SPFL has been in dispute with Hearts’ owner this week over what she felt was a lack of communication with clubs before plans for a radical League Cup revamp were released this week.

However, Neilson feels that any opinions and views offered by IT businesswoman Budge, who has generally made a positive impression since taking control of Hearts 19 months ago, should be taken on board by those charged with running the Scottish game.

“I would definitely like to see her have more influence in Scottish football,” said the head coach. “My dealings with Ann, everything she’s said and done has been for the benefit of Hearts and the benefit of Scottish football. I think we need to listen to people who are coming from outwith Scottish football, coming into it and seeing it from a different perspective. She’s coming in and asking: ‘Why have we been doing this for the last 20 or 30 years?’

“Her experience and business acumen means she sees a way to do things differently, in a way that will progress not just Hearts but the league. She understands that it’s not just another business, too. She’s a successful businesswomen who is running this club very well. Look at the accounts, look at how the club has been run since she’s been in. Everything has been first class.”