Hearts chief executive Ann Budge has admitted that the delay on the building of the club’s new Main Stand is “entirely down to an error on the part of the club” after they forgot to order the seats.
The club released a statement on Thursday afternoon confirming the delay, announcing the club has moved three of its first four home games to Murrayfield, while switching the other against Partick Thistle to Firhill.
The statement explained that due to the weather and a late delivery of seating the “open for business” day has been pushed to Sunday 5 November, when the club will face Kilmarnock after the game had been switched from Saturday 4 November.
Budge said: “The wettest June/July in years, coupled with the late delivery of seating from the Far East, due to shipping issues, means we will have to invoke our contingency plan and play our first few home fixtures at BT Murrayfield.”
However, Hearts have explained in greater detail the issues which have caused the short-term move to Murrayfield. Namely, they didn’t order the seats for the stand.
The statement read: “Firstly, I want to make it absolutely clear that the delay is entirely down to an error on the part of the club and is in no way down to any failure on behalf of Hardies, or any other of our construction partners.
“Derek Ferrier, Director of Hardies, has been unbelievable in his drive and commitment to achieving the September target date. Every day, we were faced with different problems and every day he found solutions. Despite inevitably falling behind at times, due to the appalling weather in June/July, somehow or other he always managed to drive our on-site teams to catch-up. Had we, the club, not “dropped the ball”, I have absolutely no doubt that Derek and his team would have achieved the September target date.
“So what went wrong? The club, quite simply, did not process the order for the seats in the required timescale to ensure delivery in line with our plan. Unfortunately, the supplier did not escalate this and as a consequence our production slot was missed and the required shipping dates could not be met. By the time this came to my attention, there was nothing that could be done to expedite delivery.
“As chief executive of the club, the buck stops with me and I have apologised to Derek and his team for our mistake. On a more positive note, the relationship between the club and our construction partners, is such that we are already looking positively ahead.”