They were not to know it, but this time last year Hearts fans were preparing to witness what has become a rare phenomenon: consecutive league wins.
A victory over St Johnstone was followed by one at Kilmarnock 12 months ago today and Hearts have since failed to repeat such a feat. What a year it’s been.
But signs are things might be getting better. Hearts travel to face St Johnstone in Perth today in better fettle than has been the case for some time. After Sunday’s victory over Rangers, successive league wins are in sight.
And now there’s news that the move towards fan ownership is progressing, with the latest date for the transfer of shares from Ann Budge to the Foundation of Hearts expected to be as soon as April. This latest information emerged from the shareholders’ association agm on Thursday night.
Away from events on the pitch, what a success story the FoH movement has proved having overcome so many obstacles, internally as well as externally.
A hugely significant moment is nearing. This shift towards supporter owned models is sweeping throughout the land. St Mirren have just announced they are planning to become fan owned earlier than initially envisaged following an innovative link-up with Kibble, a large social care charity founded in Paisley 180 years ago and still based in the town.
Of course, all these models are unique to the individual clubs. But one common strand is that supporter-owned does not mean supporter run. That’s true for St Mirren as is it with Hearts, where Ann Budge has made it plain for some time that the terms of the agreement struck with FoH ensures that while the owner is divesting shares, she is, initially at least, maintaining power.
Nevertheless, these are pivotal weeks for Hearts, on and off the pitch.