Turnover down 30%

Hearts thank benefactors after posting £2m profit

Ann Budge

Optimism: Ann Budge (pic: SNS Group)

Heart of Midlothian FC has thanked its generous benefactors whose donations of nearly £5 million helped the club report a profit of £2m amid the challenges of the pandemic.

The group of philanthropists, which includes director James Anderson, gave £4.7m to the club to the financial year end June 30, 2021.

Defender Aaron Hickey’s transfer to Serie A side Bologna accounted for most of the £944,000 made from player sales, and with the Foundation of Hearts’ monthly pledges contributing £1.67m and a £500,000 grant from the Scottish FA, the club was able to withstand the worst effects of Covid.

Turnover, however, was down by £4.6m – over 30% on the previous year (£12.3m) – to £7.7m due to the impact of Covid-19, plus relegation to the Championship and a year with no fans allowed inside stadia.

A trimming of the first-team squad saw staff costs drop by £1.2m from £8.7m to £7.5m.

A club statement said: “In a climate where lockdown constraints and the absence of fans would have a huge impact on all income streams, the board agreed a financial plan for year 20/21 which anticipated a significant drop in revenue and a financial loss across the year.

“While the assumptions underpinning that plan were very conservative, the impact of Covid was even greater than expected.

“All games across the season were played ‘behind closed doors’, heavily impacting our ticketing, commercial and retail income; and a second extended lockdown caused serious disruption to our non-matchday operations, including our conference and banqueting business, our Skyline Restaurant and our Supporters Bar.

“Our financial results for the year reflect the significant impact posed by the Covid pandemic. We are nevertheless pleased to announce a profit of over £2m for the year.

“As is clear from our figures, our principal benefactors and the Foundation of Hearts once again, made a number of very generous donations, which helped us enormously during this difficult year.

“The Covid-19 restrictions, coupled with the financial consequences of our enforced demotion to the Championship, saw our turnover reduced from £12.3m to £7.7m for the financial year.

“This fall in income was, to some extent, off-set by Government support schemes, such as the Furlough Scheme, COVID related grants from the Scottish Government and SPFL Trust, and player sales.

“In short, while this was an even more difficult year than could reasonably have been foreseen, we have come through it in good shape and ready to move forward with confidence.”

The 115th annual general meeting will be held on Thursday, 16 December at 11am at Tynecastle. Suite.

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