Following the hullaballoo of the past few days, Hearts owner Ann Budge has been lauded by her manager Robbie Neilson, who says she should be considered an asset rather than somebody to silenced, writes Moira Gordon.
“I think we need to listen to people who are coming from outwith Scottish football and seeing it from a different perspective. She’s coming in and asking: ‘Why have we been doing this for 20 or 30 years?’
“Her experience and business acumen means she sees a way to do things differently, in a way that will progress not just Hearts but the league as a whole. I would definitely like to see her have more influence in Scottish football.”
Neilson says he has reaped the rewards of their weekly chats, tapping into her experience in man management and other skills which can be transferred from business to football.
“Ann’s been great for me. She wants to make Hearts and Scottish football as good as it can be.
“I’ve learned loads from her. Having her and Craig [Levein] here has been great for me. She’s very humble, but she’ll give advice – and it’s something we’ve got to use as much as we can.”
Hugely appreciative of what she brings to the table, he is at a loss to understand why others are proving more reticent.
“Regardless of what comes out in statements, hopefully they read what Ann has to say, they speak to her and they do things better. We all want Scottish football to get better and if that means putting a statement out about things we think can be done better, so be it. The important thing is that the league progresses, because then all the clubs progress.”