100 days – Day 21

100 days – Day 21 

The morning after Budgementday at Tynecastle






 new owner and CEO of Heart of Midlothian FC, Mrs Ann Budge


 ‘It was clear from my earliest visits to Tynecastle and my earliest meetings with senior staff that the company, Heart of Midlothian plc, was, in every sense of the word, “broken”.’

  ‘Ann Budge wasted no time in getting down to business on her first day in charge of Hearts yesterday, as an extraordinary morning of bloodletting saw manager Gary Locke and eight others all leave Tynecastle.’  (the Scotsman – 13 May 2014)











Wallace Mercer in 1989 on club's state in 81: "You have to be like a surgeon with a cancer patient & know where to stick the knife in"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

About meenister

An ordained Church of Scotland Minister since 1974. Started off in Doune which is near Stirling, before moving to Trinidad for four years; on my return to Scotland, I was a rural minister in Perthshire and then was asked to become Minister at St.Michael's Inveresk where I spent eleven happy years. A short ministry in Guernsey followed and since 1999, I was a full time healthcare Chaplain in the town of Dumfries in SW Scotland, retiring from that post in December 2012. I started this blog on 6 May 2012, soon after my wife, Helen, was diagnosed with secondary cancer - it was a sort of diversion and still is, following her death on 16 June. I hope it shows that there is a lighter side to religion, that it's not gloom and doom and that we can sometimes laugh at ourselves in a self-effacing way. Some posts are, however, I hope provoking and food for thought.

One response to “100 days – Day 21”

  1. meenister says :

    Ann Budge today (12 May 2014) released the following statement as she outlines her vision for the future as the new owner of Heart of Midlothian FC.

    It was clear from my earliest visits to Tynecastle and my earliest meetings with senior staff that the company, Heart of Midlothian plc, was, in every sense of the word, “broken”.

    There was no overarching strategy for how the business should be run. For far too long, there had been no clear leadership. This coupled with the sole focus on day to day survival had left the club in a sorry and perilous financial state. This led to a fundamental disconnect between the various departments and a mountain of issues to be resolved. Add to this, the under-investment in various parts of the business and the current financial position, and we have a “broken” Hearts. We must all realise that there is no quick fix for these problems.

    One thing is very clear. We have come far too close to losing our very existence and we must never allow this to happen again. We must grasp this opportunity to start afresh; to put in place solid foundations that will ensure we never again risk our 140 years of history.

    We must make changes. We must stop thinking short-term. We must put in place a 3-5-year plan that will see our commercial activities totally re-vamped, such that they once again provide a solid financial under-pinning to our football club; and we must also completely revitalise and re-focus the football side of our club. We have some excellent young players, who have done us proud in the last season. We owe it to them to create an environment that will help them to continue to flourish and develop. This will take time, patience and the continued loyal support of Hearts’ dedicated fan base. We will implement strategies to grow and strengthen the club. We will live within in our means to ensure that the future of the club is never again put in jeopardy.

    We must ensure we have a clear footballing strategy that drives every aspect of our game; everything from who we recruit into our club, from youth academy through to first team players; how we approach coaching, at all age groups and all levels; how we undertake training… and indeed, what kind of football we play at Hearts.

    There must be a totally cohesive plan that ties all aspects of our club together. Everyone must be pulling in the same direction.

    Next season cannot simply be about getting back up into the SPFL. Of course, we will be striving for that, but we must take a longer-term view and build for the future. One of the key objectives of the new Board is to put in place a Coaching Education Programme that is second to none in Scottish football. Only by doing so, can we realistically attain the continual year-on-year improvement we are striving for and that will add to the value of the players and the club alike, and help to secure our future.
    This means change on a fairly major scale. Not everyone will agree with all the changes being put in place, but we must address the issues at hand with our heads and not our hearts. We have made these tough decisions after much deliberation and much discussion. All we ask is that you give the new management team time and we will show we can deliver.

    What are the changes?

    We must put in place, first and foremost strong leadership. We need new skills, strategic thinking, and strong commercial and footballing management.

    Board Level Changes

    A new Board of Directors is being put in place over the next few days

    • Ann Budge: Chairman/CEO

    • Robert Wilson: Deputy CEO/Director of Strategic Planning

    • Eric Hogg: Operations Director

    • Craig Levein: Director of Football

    • Ian Murray (Chair of FOH): Foundation of Hearts Representative

    The Board will be expanded over time to include another non-executive Director, with a strong financial background, and a second FOH Director, to further represent the fans.

    Operational Management Changes

    Both Eric Hogg and myself will assume a very hands-on role in the day-to-day running of the club, supported by the existing management team.

    I am delighted to say that the Operational Management Team will be expanded to include a new Head of Commercial. Ann Park will be joining the team with immediate effect. We have worked together over many years and I know she will bring lots of fresh ideas and strong sales and marketing leadership to the commercial team.

    Footballing Management Changes

    We know it may be an unpopular decision with some of you, but the Board has decided that we cannot offer Gary Locke a new contract as Manager, at the end of his current contract. Please believe me when I say this has been an enormously difficult decision to make. We all know the pressures that Gary and his assistant, Billy Brown, have worked under over the last year. They were set an almost impossible task, which they handled with dignity and determination. For that, we are all hugely grateful to both of them. The players and backroom/support staff at Riccarton will be sorry indeed to see them go…as, I know, will a very large section of the Hearts support. They will both leave with our very grateful thanks and best wishes.

    Craig Levein will join the club with immediate effect and will assume total responsibility for everything to do with the playing side of the business. He will be responsible for putting in place an end-to-end strategy for how we are going to implement a youth-driven playing policy within the club.

    John Murray will return to his former role as a chief scout. In the short-term, he will also assist with running the Academy, while we identify who should head this up. For the last year, John has taken on a wide sphere of responsibilities in support of the club he loves and for that we owe him a vote of thanks. We are pleased to be able to offer him the opportunity to go back to what he loves best; namely identifying new, young talent.

    These decisions have been driven by everything that has been said about needing a long-term strategy, built over a 3-5-year planning horizon. For those reasons, the new Board believes that we need to bring in someone with Craig’s experience to guide that vision. With such a strong Director of Football on board, we feel we have to spend our limited resources on strengthening and building the Coaching side of the business, rather than having a 1st team manager. Robbie Neilson will take over as Head Coach for the 1st team and we will bring in a strong support team to work with Robbie in terms of an Assistant Coach and U20s Coach.

    Over the next few days, a number of other changes will be announced as we start the process of rebuilding our great Club. We will have to say good-bye to a number of the fans’ current favourites; we will do our best to secure all our excellent young players; and we will welcome a group of new players, who will help us achieve our vision.

    A number of the decisions we make over the next few days and weeks will be driven by finance. We have to ensure we live within our means. All of the decisions have been taken with a view to ensuring the future stability of our club.

    On HeartsTV tomorro


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


The Blog of David Robertson

More Enigma Than Dogma

Relationships, Culture & Current Events

Curriculum of the Spiritual Life

Poems, Prayers, & Proverbs that speak to what it means to be a "living curriculum" of the Christian Life.

Iain Macwhirter

Read Iain in The Herald and Sunday Herald, every Wednesday and Sunday.

Sky Pilot

ramblings of a reformed ecclesiastic


personal reflections on life, the universe & everything

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

100 DAYS

various positions


This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees


Faith Seeking Understanding

Richard W. Strachan's Blog

Writing and reading


A dangerous Mixture politics and religion

In an Irish Home

What Life is Really Like Behind the Hall Door

Guido Fawkes

Parliamentary plots and conspiracy

waverley710, The Ramblings of a Wannabe theologian.

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Jim Palmer

Inner Anarchist

Love's Work

Reflections on living into ministry

It Is What It Is

Dr. Rex .... Blogging for change.


Just another WordPress.com site

You Got to be Kidding's Blog

Humor and musings from all around the Internet

David's Commonplace Book

Random stuff that interests me


"Haud Gaan!" - Scots for 'Keep Pressing Forward!'

Soul Destruction

London call girl book & diary series - exposing the dark world and harsh reality of life as a drug addicted call girl


entertainment without boundaries

Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam

Thoughts Of A Near 40 Something

Nothing Exciting But True - May Contain Trains

Toad's Great Adventure

"I will, then, be a toad." -- Stephen Crane

Leaving Fundamentalism

various positions

All Things Rabyd

A blog dedicated to the thoughts, opinions, ideas and random madness of Edward W. Raby, Sr. - Pastor, Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Bodybuilder and Football Fan. "Yes, the dog is foaming at the mouth. Don't worry, He just had pint of beer and is trying to scare you." This is a Theology Pub so drink your theology responsibly or have a designated driver to get you home as theology can be as intoxicating as alcohol.

Soul Gatherings

Spiritual Moments in the Human Experience

Anglican Memes

a humour site about the Church of England

A Sacred Conspiracy

To conspire... act in harmony toward a common or agreed upon end. God wants to conspire with us [and] this means that God calls us to give our lives to God, to surrender completely, so we may live more fully. Dallas Willard

Lavender and Broken Bones


Christus Pro Nobis

Christ for us


Developing Theological ideas


Qui vicerit, dabo ei sedere mecum in throno meo


More than a feeling ...

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences


Opinions & ideas in NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Chicks In The Mitt

...we have a blog, therefore, we must be interesting...

The China Penguin

waddling from rice fields to ice-fields


A blog of Peter's Study Leave 2012

Journey to a healthy life...

and the maddness on the way there


A great WordPress.com site

%d bloggers like this: