The Foundation of Hearts, the supporters’ body which will become the majority shareholder of Heart of Midlothian FC when its financial commitments to the current owner are fulfilled, has today launched a consultation exercise to seek the views of its members on future governance plans.

Launching the initiative, Foundation chairman Stuart Wallace said: “This is an important document for us to share as it sets out our longer term vision of how we see the club being operated under the Foundation of Hearts’ ownership.

“We are moving from a position of helping in a time of crisis towards planning for the future. Today we are inviting all our members to help us shape the detail of that future and set in place a governance structure which will allow our club to continue to flourish once the planned transfer of ownership from Bidco is complete.”

These proposals build on the existing governance structures within both the Foundation and the club. Both parties believe that maintaining continuity and stability will be central to providing for the continued health and success of Heart of Midlothian FC.

A further key principle within the proposals is that it is the directors of the club who will be charged with the day-to-day management of the club’s affairs. The board of directors of the Foundation will not be involved directly in the club’s operations.

Among the other proposals are:

  • A membership structure for the Foundation which will continue to be based on monthly financial contributions.
  • The members’ contributions will continue to provide additional funding for the club.
  • The creation of a designated Director of Members’ Affairs post within the Foundation, who will have specific responsibility for engaging and communicating with members.
  • A modified process for the appointment to the Foundation board of directors with specific business or professional expertise.
  • Any subsequent proposal to transfer the Foundation’s future shareholding in the club will be determined by a “super-majority” (requiring a minimum of 90 per cent members’ approval) and will therefore not be a decision solely for the Foundation board to take.
  • A board structure for the club which will continue to consist of executive and non-executive directors, including two directors nominated by the Foundation.
  • The establishment of a committee of the club board with a remit to make recommendations on the appointment of new directors and senior executives and to monitor the working of the governance framework.
  • A statement of “reserved matters” which will set out the decisions to be taken by the club’s shareholders rather than the club board, and a schedule of matters on which the club board will consult with the Foundation board.
  • The drawing up of a formal “working together” document which will set out guidance, procedures and processes governing the relationship between the Foundation and the club.

Stuart Wallace commented: “It is important that we take this opportunity to set out our governance vision in anticipation of the new phase in the club’s ownership history unfolding. The supporters have played a massive role in helping to rescue the club from administration, and it is right that these supporters now have the opportunity to provide their views on how the club and the Foundation should work together in the future.”

The consultation period will run until 31 August 2017, and the consultation document can be viewed here.