Hearts benefactor Ann Budge praises fans

Hearts Executive Chairwoman Designate Ann Budge enjoys the match. Picture: SNS
Hearts Executive Chairwoman Designate Ann Budge enjoys the match. Picture: SNS
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ANN Budge, the businesswoman bankrolling the rescue of Hearts, has told fellow fans that they are within touching distance of putting the troubles of the past couple of seasons behind them and “bringing our club home”.

In a letter e-mailed to the 8,000-plus supporters who have allied themselves to the Foundation of Hearts and pledged money to help give fans control of their club, the woman behind Bidco 1874 said they were focused on completing all the legal formalities as swiftly as possible and promised to honour some of the broken promises made by the old regime.

Budge wrote: “There has been and will continue to be a significant number of questions that you will wish to have answered.

“One that I do want to answer now is the question relating to those supporters who paid for shares in the last share issue and have never received their share certificates.

“This is something I am totally committed to rectifying and I will address it as soon as I am in a position to do so.”

Club administrators BDO revealed on Wednesday that a £2.5 million agreement had been reached with Ukio Bankas and its parent company UBIG to transfer their majority shareholding in the club to Budge’s Bidco 1874 company, allowing the Gorgie club to sever all ties with the Lithuanian owners and move towards 100 per cent fan ownership.

Talking supporters through the process, she said she hoped she had clarified matters and “not added to the confusion”.

Having kept a low profile until now, Budge said she would be as transparent as possible when it comes to dealings at the club which has been in administration since last summer.

She added: “I will work diligently to keep you informed at all times on what is happening at the club. I will conclude for now by just saying a huge thank you.

“This week will go down in the history of Heart of Midlothian FC as one of the most important.

“We are within touching distance of bringing our club home,” added Budge.

“This has only been possible not because of me, not because of the Foundation of Hearts, not because of BDO or anyone else – it is because of you, the supporters of the club who have stood by Hearts and the Foundation.”