1. What is the Foundation of Hearts?
The Foundation of Hearts is a not-for-profit organisation established as a company limited by guarantee. It was created by a group of Hearts fans. Its members have a shared and passionate vision for the future which is based on bringing ownership of Heart of Midlothian (HoMplc) back to the people who are truly passionate about this club – the fans.
2. What are the Foundation’s objectives?
The current priority of the Foundation is to work in partnership with Ann Budge and her team to ensure that the rebuilding of the club can proceed effectively, supported by the vital financial contribution of Foundation members. Within the agreed (with Bidco) schedule, we aim to see the ownership of the club transferring from Ann Budge to the Foundation, thus delivering the central objective of fan ownership at Hearts.
3. Who will own Hearts should the Foundation purchase the club?
The Foundation’s aim is ultimately to take ownership of the club through an agreement which was reached with Ann Budge (the current owner) and her Bidco company. Our core strategy has entailed creating a membership structure, which will mean that Hearts supporters – through becoming members of the Foundation – will have individual ownership of the club in a one member, one vote system.
The Foundation will ensure that the club runs transparently and ethically, in the tradition of Hearts, and will aim to build on the work of the current management team, led by Ann Budge, to deliver efficient financial management to build a solid long-term future.
4. What’s in it for fans and what influence will they have?
All members of the Foundation will have a chance to be elected to the Foundation board and serve for three years. This will give Hearts fans a very serious and responsible influence over events surrounding the running of the club.
5. How is the Foundation funded?
The financial income of the Foundation is based on regular monthly contributions (ie pledges) from its members.
We started drawing down the first pledges, primarily via a direct debit system provided by GoCardless, on 2 September 2013. Regular financial contributions are in the form of a direct debit that are collected on the same day of every calendar month. Other payment methods are available. For further details, see: www.foundationofhearts.org/now-is-the-time-to-make-history/.
The monthly payments continue for as long as you wish to remain a member.
6. Are my money and personal details safe?
Yes, your data and your money are completely safe and secure. The funds are held in a dedicated business account with the Clydesdale Bank and are ring fenced. Payments are also subject to a Direct Debit Guarantee, offering you complete peace of mind. The Foundation bank account is controlled solely by responsible individuals, nominated by the board. Control and audit mechanisms are in place and are presented to the members on an annual basis for agreement at an AGM/EGM. The first AGM of the Foundation took place in December 2014.