Hearts fans will officially own their club TODAY as FoH shares transfer is completed
Hearts fans will officially own their club at the end of today when when current owner Ann Budge transfers her majority shareholding to Foundation of Hearts.
The fan-led group will complete their takeover, backed by around 8,000 members who pledge money each month, although the executive team in charge of day-to-day business at Tynecastle Park will remain unchanged. Hearts will become the biggest fan-owned club in Britain.
Budge invested £2.5million of her own money to get the Edinburgh club out of administration in 2014 with the intention of handing it to fans after a transition period. The Covid 19 pandemic delayed the transfer but Budge has now been repaid and the legalities are all but done.
The club will formally announce the change today and key parties involved in the move are due to address the media.
Earlier in the month, Budge said of the transfer: “I feel immensely privileged to have been able to play a part in bringing Hearts ‘back from the brink’ when liquidation threatened in 2013 and I will be forever grateful to the ‘original 5’ for inviting me to join them in their efforts to save the club.
“Like so many thousands of Hearts fans, I had no hesitation in pledging my financial support to the Foundation of Hearts from the outset and like so many others, my pledge is for life. I will continue to support the club, through the Foundation, for as long as I am able.
“Being the majority shareholder of any company brings with it great responsibility. I have shouldered that responsibility willingly for over seven years, supported every step of the way by the Foundation of Hearts. It will now be my great pleasure, in turn, to support the Foundation as they now take on that mantle.
“What we have achieved together is nothing short of remarkable. That togetherness must remain as we look proudly towards the future. We must continue to protect our heritage and our past to safeguard these for future generations. However, more than anything, we must continue to look forward to further develop our club."
Foundation of Hearts chairman Stuart Wallace commented: “This is a truly historic occasion for the club and its supporters. The handover has been delayed by the pandemic but the legal details will shortly be completed and we can look forward to Heart of Midlothian becoming the largest fan-owned football club in the country.
“This iconic moment in time is not the end of a story but the beginning of a new one. The Foundation and its many pledgers become the custodians of this great club and as we do so, we will rightly celebrate what has happened so far, but more importantly look ahead to what we can continue to achieve to support the club we love.
“We have all been in the blessed position – though it certainly did not appear that way back in 2013 – of helping to save our club and ensuring that future generations could experience the ecstasy and yes, the occasional agony, of following Hearts. On 30 August, we can all take a moment to reflect on how far we have come together – and in our new custodial role, look forward to ensuring that the next chapter is even more memorable and successful.”