SPFL club Hearts are set to become the largest fan-owned club when the Foundation of Hearts group will take up shares of Ann Budge. The current chair Budge was set to hand her majority shareholding last year but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Budge had invested £2.5m of her own in 2014 when the club was set to go into administration. She bought the shares with the sole intention of handing over the club to the supporters over a period of time.

“This is a truly historic occasion for the club and its supporters,” said SPFL Foundation of Hearts chairman, Stuart Wallace. “The handover has been delayed by the pandemic but the legal details will shortly be completed and we can look forward to Heart of Midlothian becoming the largest fan-owned football club in the country.”

“This iconic moment in time is not the end of a story but the beginning of a new one. The Foundation and its many pledgers become the custodians of this great club and as we do so, we will rightly celebrate what has happened so far, but more importantly, look ahead to what we can continue to achieve to support the club we love,” he added. “We have all been in the blessed position – though it certainly did not appear that way back in the dark days of 2013 – of helping to save our club and ensuring that future generations could experience the ecstasy and yes, the occasional agony, of following Hearts.”

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