Historic Tynecastle change

Budge hoping for positive legacy as FoH takes control

Ann Budge with FoH chairman Stuart Wallace (pic: SNS Group)

Ann Budge says she will be staying at Hearts until at least 2023 after signing over her majority shareholding to the Foundation of Hearts (FoH).

The Tynecastle outfit is now the biggest fan-owned football club in Britain following the official completion of the agreement today.

Around 8000 supporters have been making monthly pledges to enable the historic change to take place after Budge took the club out of administration seven years ago at a cost of £2.5 million.

“I have committed to stay for a minimum of two years. If I’m still able to contribute and if the fans want me then it could be longer,” she said

“I’ll certainly still be here for the next two years. I’m enjoying it enormously. To say I’ve enjoyed every minute of it would clearly not be true but I’ve enjoyed the majority of it.

“We’re now going into the next phase and I just want us to keep moving forward and getting stronger.”

She added: “We’ve achieved everything we set out to achieve despite the doubts that were expressed about whether it could be done.

“I’m very confident about the club going forward. We’ve had a few difficulties to deal with over the last seven years and we’ve come through it.

“The supporters have backed us every step of the way and we’re in great shape. It’s a perfect time for this transition to happen.

“The club is in a good place, financially stable with a great management team and a great board. It’s all good.

“I don’t know what my legacy as owner will be but I hope it will be very positive, unlike some of the previous chairmen and owners in the past.

“I think when people look around and see what we’ve achieved, they’ll see that we’re better than where we were when I took over. That was my objective and I take a great deal of pride from that.”

Chief executive Andrew McKinlay will take more responsibility for the day-to-day running of the club.

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