Gary Mackay: Hearts' annual accounts a concern as benefactors keep club in the black

Donations from wealthy individuals won't last forever

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 6:00 am
Hearts released their annual accounts earlier this month

I’ve spoken a lot in this column about how wonderful things are off the pitch at Hearts – and rightly so given how the club has been rebuilt in five years since administration.

That said, I do concern myself slightly with the recent annual accounts Hearts published. The profit we made on paper - £1.6million - wasn’t as much as the amount of donations we were given from anonymous benefactors over the year - £3.25m

If you take the benefactors’ money out of the equation, Hearts are running at a loss and that is a concern. Football club owners aren’t there forever. Benefactors aren’t there forever, either. We need to remember that.

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At the end of the day, this is the long-term future of Heart of Midlothian we are looking at here. Yes, strictly speaking we are in the black but we can’t rely on donations from benefactors forever and that will need addressed sooner or later.

On the field, things are going from bad to worse with the latest result a 3-0 reverse against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Saturday was another game which signifies that there is a big problem at Hearts. I worry about exactly what that problem is when you go to Livingston and lose 5-0 last year and then you go to Kilmarnock and lose three. Our team, particularly with the players we have, should not be on the receiving end of results like that.

Fundamentally, there has to be a problem. I still keep going back to it: Are there too many players at Riccarton? Too many bodies?

I see Michael O’Neill alluding to that after taking over at Stoke City because they have 29 players in their group. You look at the numbers we have and, even discounting the injured ones, we still had six full internationalists on the pitch at Kilmarnock – Michael Smith, Christophe Berra, Clevid Dikamona, Glenn Whelan and Oliver Bozanic. Yet we lose 3-0. There is clearly something not right.

It will ultimately be down to the new manager, whoever gets the job, to sort out the playing staff but I suspect a trim will be necessary if possible.