Budge warns Hearts fans not to overdo title party

HEARTS fans have been urged to enjoy the party – and stay off the pitch – ahead of today’s historic cup celebration.

Hearts players celebrate after clinching the title against Queen of the South in March. Picture: Neil Hanna

Jubilant scenes are expected at Tynecastle as the team lifts the Championship trophy in front of a sell-out crowd.

The team won the league in record time, with the handover taking place after the Jambos face Rangers in the final game of a record-breaking season.

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And club owner Ann Budge has urged supporters, who have travelled from around the world for the occasion, to make sure the historic game is not marred by over-exuberant celebrations.

In a statement, she said she knew supporters would make the club proud, just as the team had made them this season.

But she added: “That said, I have to finish with a reminder. Please do not try to come on to the pitch at the end of the game as the police have made it clear that doing so will mean all of the planned pitch celebrations will, at worst, be cancelled and at best, be so delayed that your fellow supporters throughout the world will miss out due to the tight timings involved.

“Let’s make the last game of this amazing season one to be remembered for all the right reasons.”

The emotional day comes after the club bounced back from relegation last year.

The future of the club looks secure thanks to a deal that saw Ms Budge take over amid plans to hand the club over to the fans’ group Foundation of Hearts within three to five years.

Foundation of Hearts chairman Ian Murray said today was a day for Hearts fans to “thoroughly enjoy”.

He added: “Supporters absolutely deserve this and the Championship has been won through their efforts supporting the club financially and emotionally.

“Without their support the club would have folded.”

The team won the league back in March with seven games left and recently broke Hibs’ record by accumulating 90 points in Scotland’s second tier.

SPFL secretary Iain Blair will present the silverware to Hearts captain Danny Wilson on the pitch to kick-start the celebrations.

Crowds will be entertained by The Royal Scots Association Pipe Band both before and after the match.

Former Hearts chairman Lord George Foulkes said: “This has been a brilliant season and we have saved the club with over 8000 people contributing to the Foundation and attendances have been remarkable.

“But I don’t think fans 
need to be cautioned. They have shown they have been responsible and if anyone did something different it would spoil the action for everyone else.”

The presentation party will take to the pitch at around 2.15pm before the players make their grand entrance to be congratulated, culminating in the trophy presentation.

After the on-stage celebrations there will be fireworks, confetti and champagne.