Hearts supporters have contacted Foundation of Hearts asking to leave part of their estate to the fan organisation when they die. The revelation comes in an exclusive Evening News interview with FoH chairman Stuart Wallace, who admitted being taken aback by the requests.
Around 8000 fans contribute monthly cash to the Foundation, which provides £1.4m in funding to Hearts every year. They will assume control of the Edinburgh club next year when current owner Ann Budge transfers her 75.1 per cent shareholding to FoH.
However, some fans are now taking their commitment to the next level. Wallace revealed how people have been in touch wanting to leave a portion of their legacy to the Foundation on top of monthly donations.
“A lot of people say they are in and in for good,” said Wallace. “One guy said to me: ‘My pledge will be around for as long as I’m around.’ I thought that was a brilliant way to put it. That’s why we use the phrase ‘Pledge For Life’.
“We now have people asking how they can leave a legacy. They want our incorporated number as a company so they can write it into their will. When you hear that sort of thing, you think: ‘Blimey.’”
Wallace explained that, as a result, FoH feel an even greater responsibility to ensure money is used wisely going forward.
“We feel it’s incumbent on us to work hard over the next year with the club. How will the accounting arrangements work? What do we need to do make sure the admin is all right? But more than that, what will we do with the fans’ money? There is now an inevitability that this will carry on,” he said.
“We haven’t decided on it yet but it’s a fantastic problem to have. There will always be infrastructure projects the club might want to take on. Do we continue to improve Tynecastle? Are there other facilities we can build around the stadium? Should we talk about youth development? What do the fans want?
“All of these things are being discussed in the background and it’s a great position for the club to be in.”