In the last week, both Hearts and Motherwell have hit major milestones, demonstrating the power and potential of supporter ownership to secure a sustainable future for our football clubs.
The Foundation Of Hearts have now paid over the final instalment to Ann Budge’s BidCo for the loan payment made back in 2014 to save the club.
The next stage will see the transfer of BidCo’s majority shareholding of the club to the Foundation, which is likely to be around the end of April. Their success in activating a massive section of their support to fund the ownership campaign is a model to aspiring supporters groups across Scotland and beyond, and gives them a rock-solid foundation to build upon as they take ownership. Pledges from members are a key part of their strategy for the club – and with almost £10 million raised over the last 6 years the transformation of the club could not have taken place without them.
Motherwell, owned by The Well Society since 2016, made their final payments to former owners John Boyle and Les Hutchison late last year, and this week announced that the last remaining external debts had been repaid. This puts the club in the black for the first time in 40 years, and was done through continual investment in youth development that has delivered success on and off the pitch – by developing young talent they have reached cup finals in recent years, currently sit 3rd in the Scottish Premiership, and have brought in substantial transfer fees that put the club on a sound financial footing.
Both Motherwell and Hearts act as a beacon for other clubs to secure a stronger future by embracing supporter ownership.