'Slackening of the purse strings' - Hearts chair Ann Budge on Europe impact on transfer budget

Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge has outlined how the importance of sustained European qualification can have on the Robbie Neilson’s transfer budget, allowing the club to ‘slacken the purse strings’.

The Gorgie club became the first Scottish side outside of the Old Firm to compete in European group stage football since Aberdeen in the 2007/08 campaign when they made it to the Europa Conference League groups. It is estimated the club will make around £3million profit from their European run.

"Everybody has bought into the fact that getting into Europe clearly is hugely important from a financial perspective, from the fans' perspective, from the players' perspective, but just dipping in and dipping out, you are going to have very limited success I would guess,” Budge told BBC podcast Behind the Goals.

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"It's now not just about getting into Europe, it's about doing what we did this time and being guaranteed group stage football because then you genuinely plan and the money does change. It makes a huge difference.

"It was the first year I said, 'Right, okay we can look again at what we need on the football pitch'. I have always been criticised that, 'She seems to forget it's a football club'. I never forget it's a football club but we cannot throw everything at the players, no offence to anybody.

"This time it was a real slackening of the purse strings and saying, 'Okay what do we really need to make a difference and to increase our chance?'. We all know nothing is guaranteed. The chance of being able to do it again and then hopefully again, of being consistently in that situation."



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