The Foundation of Hearts (FoH) is the largest supporters’ movement in Scottish footballing history. We currently have a membership of around 8,000 individuals, all of whom contribute financially to the organisation. This financial contribution is used to provide working capital for the club we support, Heart of Midlothian.
A not-for-profit organisation, the Foundation was created in 2010 by a group of local businesspeople (Alex Mackie, Jamie Bryant, Brian Cormack, Donald Ford, Garry Halliday), all of whom are lifelong Hearts fans. We have a shared vision for the future which is based on bringing Heart of Midlothian back to the people who are truly passionate about this club – the fans.
In 2013, the Foundation was joined by all the Hearts supporters’ organisations – the Federation of Hearts Supporters Clubs, the Heart of Midlothian Shareholders Association, the Heart of Midlothian Supporters’ Trust, Hearts Youth Development Committee (HYDC), and Save Our Hearts. Under the chairmanship of Ian Murray MP, this united group worked under the Foundation of Hearts ‘banner’ to take forward the vision of fan ownership.
In 2014, one of the Foundation’s own team, Ann Budge (through her specially created company, Bidco), successfully acquired the majority shareholding of the club. A legally binding agreement was put in place between Bidco and the Foundation which will deliver ultimate fan ownership – via the Foundation - over an anticipated five-year period of time. Doing so allows the club’s finances to be stabilised, and for there to be an orderly transition to supporter ownership. Bidco’s sole purpose is to deliver fan ownership and it will therefore not seek to make any personal gain through the process.
The position that Ann Budge/Bidco inherited was one of a club with no money in the bank, and the contribution from the Foundation has provided essential working capital at this difficult time. The Foundation has signed up to providing £1.4 million in year 1 and £1.4 million in year 2. Monies raised over and above this will be accrued over the next years to repay the loan provided by Ann Budge of £2.5 million; the loan that effectively saved the club. This means that the total that the Foundation will require to raise in the five years since its inception will be £6.3 million.
Ann Budge is now implementing her strategy of running the club in accordance with a carefully constructed 4-5 year plan. The key objective in this is to restore the club to being a viable operation, so that the fans, through the Foundation, will be operating a healthy going concern at the point that we take over ownership.
The Foundation is delighted to be working closely with Ann Budge and her team to pave the way for ultimate fan ownership at Tynecastle, and we acknowledge the extraordinary commitment, breadth of skills and new values which she has brought to the club. Her initiative has been a breath of fresh air in the Scottish football scene.
None of the Foundation initiative would have been possible without the incredible dedication and determination – defying sceptics and nay-sayers at every turn – of the magnificent supporters of Heart of Midlothian Football Club.
We salute you!
Alastair has been a member of the Foundation of Hearts team from an early stage. His professional career has included working in the private, public and voluntary sectors before joining Edinburgh-based Shaw Marketing and Design, of which he is managing director.
Donald is a partner in the London-based law firm CMS Cameron McKenna. He joined the Scottish law firm Dundas & Wilson in 1974 and has spent all his career in Edinburgh with that firm, becoming a partner in CMS Cameron McKenna earlier this year when the two firms joined forces. Donald specialises in commercial and corporate work, and was part of the legal team which acted for the Foundation in the deal with Ann Budge’s Bidco to enable the Foundation to become majority shareholder in Hearts.
One of the founding directors of the Foundation of Hearts, Garry, a former bricklayer, is now a contracts manager. A third-generation, dyed in the wool Hearts fan, Garry has throughout the whole FoH journey given opinion, input and ideas.
Barry is a qualified chartered accountant by profession. After graduating in economics from Edinburgh University in 2007, he has worked both in professional practice and in industry, and he is currently a financial reporting analyst with one of Scotland's most successful technology businesses.
Louise is a qualified Chartered Taxation Adviser, Chartered Financial Planner, and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Insurance by profession. She worked in professional practice in the financial services sector for many years before establishing her own bespoke tax, accountancy and financial planning practice in 2006.