DANNY WILSON has pledged to buy four Hearts season tickets despite being left in limbo following the club’s descent into administration.
The 21-year-old will spend more than £500 purchasing the season books and will then donate them to the Big Hearts Community Trust to pass on to underprivileged members of the local community.
Although he signed a three-year contract with Hearts last month, Wilson’s registration cannot be processed with the club now in administration and banned from signing new players. The Scotland defender must now look for a new team for next season but is not short on suitors both north and south of the Border.
However, he has promised to help Hearts sell as many season tickets as possible after administrators BDO targeted 3000 sales inside 14 days. More than 1000 season tickets have been bought since last Thursday. Along with a host of former Tynecastle players, led by John Robertson and Allan Preston, Wilson is determined to help the club survive.
“Danny played 14 games for Hearts, he doesn’t really owe them anything,” said Preston, who works for the company which represents Wilson. “They gave him a chance to go and play and he absolutely loved it. He had better offers to go elsewhere and he’s as disappointed as anyone that the Hearts move hasn’t come off. Despite that, he was first on the phone to say ‘I’ll buy four season tickets’.
“It does say a lot for him but, from speaking to him, he said the team spirit at Hearts was brilliant right from the day he walked through the door in January. The players made him feel really welcome and he felt at home. That was the reason he wanted to stay there. He’s disappointed that can’t happen but he’s like everyone else, he wants the club to survive.”
As potential buyers of the club jostle for position, Foundation of Hearts have again appealed to fans to seize the opportunity available and gain control of their club. Half of the Foundation’s 6000 pledges have now been converted to cash and they are determined to be involved in any takeover at Tynecastle.
A statement from the group said: “The last few weeks have been the most turbulent and uncertain in the recent history of Heart of Midlothian Football Club. A new dawn is breaking with a line being drawn under the previous owners and the debts.
“The administrators, BDO, have set a funding target to keep the club going until it is sold. We support this action and it is important that all fans support the club via purchasing season tickets, match tickets and merchandise whilst the administrators are concluding a deal to sell. Currently there is a problem with the credit card service provider so please pay by cash and cheques to ensure the club gets every penny. This revenue keeps the club going in the short term but it is important to emphasise that this is merely a short-term solution.
“Once again it is over to us, the fans, but this time it’s different. The ownership of the club is changing; the previous directors of the club have been removed. Tough times require tough measures and indeed people have lost jobs and livelihoods in recent days. Good people, people who worked tirelessly to keep the club going through some difficult economic times under equally difficult circumstances.
“This simply adds to our resolve that we must do everything we can to ensure the Foundation of Hearts can purchase the club and bring it into fan ownership. And we are the ones who have it in our power to do exactly that via the fanbase. And to truly appreciate the role you can play, then the administrators’ assessment should surely be enough – “it was only the strength of the Hearts fanbase” that gave them the belief that this club could realistically be saved.
“The Foundation of Hearts has been set up by a group of committed Hearts fans to buy the club and take it into fan ownership. That means that you, the fans, will own the club forever. It is a new model that will create financial stability for Hearts and signal a bright, new future.
“The Foundation of Hearts has made a formal registration of interest to purchase the club so that you, the fans, become the new owners.
“However, success will only be achieved if the Foundation can demonstrate significant ongoing financial commitment on the part of the fans.
“This is done via a monthly direct debit from as little as £10 per month.
“The collective power of the fans can ensure that you own the club and the future is both sustainable and secure.
“Over 6,000 fans have already pledged and 50 per cent of those have now converted their pledge to a monthly Direct Debit. It’s easy to do and you get your money back if the bid is not successful. There is nothing to lose and every single converted pledge inches the Foundation towards purchasing the club.
“You can find out more via the Foundation of Hearts website at: www.foundationofhearts.org.
“Timescales are short so please support the Foundation’s cause. We cannot fully rely on waiting for others so it is in our hands. Spread the word, it is truly in our hands to own the history and shape the future. Thank you to everyone who has already supported the Foundation. We are truly humbled by the phenomenal fans of our club.
“When we all sing “this is my story, this is my song” next season we will know that the next chapter of that story could be you, the fans, owning the club directly. Support the club, support the Foundation of Hearts, and together we can make the club great again.”