Hearts becomes UK’s largest fan-owned club as Ann Page transfers stakes to Hearts Foundation | football news

Hearts has become the UK’s largest fan-owned club after ceding the shares of President Ann Budge to the Foundation of Hearts Group.

The 73-year-old, who ousted the club from management in 2014 for £2.5m, will continue her role as Hearts boss for at least two years.

About 8,000 supporters will make financial contributions to support the club’s management after taking office, but Page says the change in ownership will not automatically lead to fans’ independence in key decisions.

“It’s a great day, especially for the fans,” she said.

“We’ve had a very painful two years, so to get to this, I’d say we’re in great shape.

“We’ve accomplished everything we set out to do and we have a lot to do in the future, so it’s great.

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Hearts CEO Andrew McKinlay talks about what it means after the Premier League became the UK’s largest fan-owned club.

“On a daily basis, as we have said all along, the management team continues to lead the club and the board continues to set strategy.

“There are four issues that fans will always have a say in: we can’t sell shares, we can’t leave Tynecastle, we can’t change club colors and we can’t change the name without the fans’ permission.

“The idea is to protect the club from mistakes that happen in the future.”

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The moment Ann Budge and Hearts President Stuart Wallace signed the Heart and Soul Day testimony

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Page believes that his seven years as an owner have been largely progressive. With Hearts sitting at the top of the Scottish Premier League while playing in a state-of-the-art stadium during her tenure, she is happy to hand over ownership to the fans at a time when the club is in ‘brilliant’ condition.

She said: “It’s great (that I’m not the owner anymore) because it means we’ve accomplished everything we set out to do despite the skepticism that was expressed about the possibility of doing so.

“I decided to try to make sure, when I handed over the shares to the fans, that the club would be in a much better place than I was when I took it over.

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Highlights Hearts beat Dundee United to keep them in second place in the Scottish Premier League

“I am very confident in the future of the club. We have faced some challenges that we have to manage over the past seven years and we have overcome them.

“The supporters have supported us every step of the way and we are in great shape. Now is the perfect time for this transition to happen.

“I am delighted that we have created a platform that we can really build on and we hope to continue to be involved to help us move forward with that.”

Sunday 12 September 11:00 AM


Departure at 12:00 pm.


Hearts’ first match as a fan-owned club will be against Edinburgh rival Hibernian at Tynecastle, Live on Sky Sports Football, September 12.

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