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Q&A session with CEO Ann Budge - ANSWERS.


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Members of JKB submitted over 80 questions on the thread we ran several weeks ago.  After some consolidation of questions, and elimination of duplicates, there were still more questions than we could hope to get through in the time available.

 

We did manage to get through 40 questions, which were asked verbally by the JKB members, and replied to verbally by Mrs. Budge .  The verbal answers given by Ann are presented below.  

 

I wish to thank Mrs. Budge, HMFC Director Eric Hogg, JKB members redm, Buffalo Bill, and davemclaren for their considerable time and effort in this making this Q&A session possible. 

 

It's understood that the answers are likely to generate some spirited debate among our members, but I wish to remind everyone that our rules regarding abuse and trolling are still in effect.  Thanks for your cooperation.

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© Copyright Jambos Kickback fans forum.

 

Minutes from JKB Q&A with Ann Budge on Wednesday 14th March 2018

Location: Tynecastle Park

Present from HMFC: Ann Budge CEO, Eric Hogg, Director

Present from Jambos Kickback: Maple Leaf, DaveMclaren, redm, Buffalo Bill

 

Part One: Tynecastle Park

 

Q1. What is Tynecastle Park’s new capacity? Are you happy with that number? Were we limited in how big we could make the new stand? Is it possible to achieve a crowd of in excess of 20,000?

AB: The new capacity is 20,000.  We are very happy with that figure. There were constraints in terms of how big we could make it. The entire site of Tynecastle Park is effectively landlocked. We wanted to maintain the atmosphere and ensure continuity of the look of the stadium. We definitely did not want an odd-looking stand that didn't match the other three. We wanted uniformity with the roof trusses.  Our safety certificate at the moment allows us to sell up to 95% capacity (due to the control room restricting views).  Once the stand is fully up and running, we will be able to hit the 20,000 mark.  In addition to the seating, of course, we now have an additional 60,000 square feet of space that we can use to grow the business and generate money for the club. 

 

Q2. When will the upper floors/lounges of the new stand be completed? What is the overall cost of the Tynecastle redevelopment project and did the reported rising cost concern you?

AB: The completion of the upper floors is the next major phase of the redevelopment plan, albeit we have a number of things to complete before we embark on that phase. 

We will start at the top, on the third floor, and will aim to complete that as early as possible next season.   We will then come down to complete the 2nd floor.  The original plans for the 2nd floor included lots of additional hospitality space and new office space but the office space where we are now located [under the Wheatfield Stand] is excellent and a vast improvement on what we had previously.  We asked ourselves: "Do we really need to build a whole load of office space again?" We don’t think it is necessary, so we've decided to leave the offices in the Wheatfield and make a large part of the 2nd floor event and exhibition space, as there is a shortage of good exhibition space in Edinburgh.

Something else we came to realise was that our original plan of moving our “Match-Day Experience” from the Gorgie Suite to the new stand may not be the right thing to do.  Having recently been refurbished, the Gorgie Suite works fantastically well on match days - especially for the type of hospitality that it offers. In the new stand, the 2nd floor space is longer and narrower than the Gorgie Suite and this would not work so well.  This is one of the reasons we feel we have to re-visit the plans for the 2nd floor.  Also, we need to take maximum advantage of the space for use on non-match days… i.e. the other 13 days in the fortnight. We would like to use it for conferences for 400-500 people with breakout rooms available off the main space. We have already made contact with people in the arts and science exhibition/festival industry, for example.  We’re looking at being able to host a variety of different types of events - and we are determined to ensure the space will be flexible enough to align with our strategy of maximum utilisation and revenue generation.

The cost of the stand is now looking like £15M, up from the original estimate of £12M. Yes, the rise in cost did concern us but there was always a contingency plan in place to allow for the possibility that the final bill could be higher. Our concerns were tempered by the fact that we can control how much of the stand we complete in what timescale. The most important thing was to get the stand open, in terms of it being up and running for the fans to be able to take to their seats and for the team to get back playing at home. We knew that much of the other interiors could be finished at a later date, thus, staggering the costs. The over-run was caused by various things including some unexpected costs. For example, the HSE informed us that not only did we have to build a new wall between us and the giant ethanol tanks in the North British Distillery, but we also had to build a new wall between the tanks and the old high school, running north towards the West Approach Road; a boundary that has nothing to do with us.  However, because we wanted our redevelopment to take place and regulations had changed since the other stands were built, we had to pay for that wall at a very large additional cost.

 

Q3. When the new stand is fully up and running. How much extra income per annum do you expect it to generate for the club?

AB: We expect the new stand to generate between £2.5M-£3M extra per annum when fully operational. We plan to maximise revenue streams; hospitality, conferences, exhibitions, ticket sales and the new shop. We also plan to build a supporters' bar under the new stand that will hold approximately 250 people. We already have the license needed for that. The new bar will be next to the new club shop.  Traffic from the shop will hopefully flow into the space which will operate as a cafe during the week.  This space will also be able to be used to support community initiatives on non-match days. The fit out, to begin with, will be very basic.  We need to make that clear – the idea is to trial things and see if supporters like the idea of a bar and a café then come back and look at aesthetics! Again, it's about making the business self-sustainable and generating income that isn't only tied to match days.

 

Q4. Has there been any discussion with regards to naming rights?

AB: We've had some informal discussions but nothing serious and it's not something we are actively pursuing. We are more than happy that the name remains 'Tynecastle Park'. If something did happen in the future, we would push very hard to ensure the stadium still had 'Tynecastle Park' in the title, i.e. '(Something) Tynecastle Park'.

 

 

Q5. It has been reported that Tynecastle is getting a hybrid pitch this summer. How much will it cost and what are the timeframes involved?

AB: Well firstly, let's be clear: we do have to do something. It cost around £120,000 last year to re-turf the pitch as a short-term measure.  However, we now have to do it properly.  The under soil hasn't been changed for twenty years and it's now like concrete. We will need to dig down approximately one meter, replace the under-soil heating system and install a new irrigation system. The work is out to tender and we have meetings this month to review the tenders. We currently have two options; one cheaper and one more expensive. The more expensive option is a hybrid pitch, which is what most top English Premiership clubs have and also what is now in place at Murrayfield. It's approximately 95% grass turf and 5% synthetic.  It is a “stitched” pitch. We are actually exploring the idea of phasing the work over two summers, both to try to spread the cost and to take some pressure off the timescales. This summer, we could potentially do all of the rebuilding/restructuring work and then lay new turf.  We would then need to reseed and do the “stitching” the following summer. The ball-park estimate for this is approximately £1M.

 

Q6. Are there any plans to replace the bleached seats in the Roseburn Stand, as they are a bit of an eyesore?

AB: We do plan to replace the seats eventually and since taking over, we have in fact been replacing some seats each season in the three 1990s stands.  However, it's not a top priority. There is a long list of capital expenditure projects and we need to prioritise carefully and identify where money needs spent most. The boilers in the three 1990s stands for instance are now well past their sell-by date and we have to plan for possible replacements.  So money needs to go to the most urgent matters but yes, they will be replaced eventually.

 

Q7. Is there any possibility of introducing a standing section?

AB: We would like to do this but there is no plan to do so in the short term. We do however keep ourselves up-to-date on the subject and we have explored options. From a logistical and design point of view, it is more difficult to implement it at Tynecastle as we don't have corner sections. Plus, we'd need to completely re-fit the gradient of the concrete and it would cost a lot so at the moment it’s prohibitively expensive. However, we would like to see it happen one day.  If it was to happen or we were to trial it, at this point in time, we think it would probably be in the lower Gorgie Stand.

 

Q8. When will the control box be removed?

AB: It won't be removed. It will be scaled back this close season. As has been discussed previously, the popular misconception is that it's just an empty police lookout box. It is much more than that. It contains just about every cable you can think of in there! It hosts our CCTV, alarms, stadium electrics, televisions, audio, floodlight controls and more. It is logistically, pretty complicated as each cable we plan to move needs somewhere else to go first.  In simple terms, the front and side panels will be trimmed back to fall in line with the gable ends of the stands.

 

Q9. Is there a plan to build a TV studio?

AB: Yes, there is a preferred plan, and that is to house it at the top/rear of the new stand.  It would be approximately mid-way between the halfway point and the corner nearest the control room. It would have a glass fronted window overlooking the stadium. Current designs might see the loss of a couple of rows of seats directly in front of it. This is still being checked out by our structural engineers.

 

Q10.Most fans agree that the toilets situation at half time in the new stand is poor and not as good as the Wheatfield. Are there plans to address this? One gent’s toilet behind Section S has what appears to be a large vestibule area that serves no practical purpose.

AB: Yes, we plan to address this. Regarding the space between doors, fire regulations state that there has to be two doors between the concourse and the toilets. We recognise through feedback that there have been issues with bottle-necking and the flow of people. I stipulated at the start of the build that I wanted to put in extra ladies toilets but within weeks of the stand opening we had to convert two ladies toilets into men's facilities due to complaints over the poor “people flow” in the gents. It's a matter that we'll we need to address this summer and we’re looking at a redesign before next season.

 

Q11. In future, could Hearts hire out our hospitality suites during the Six Nations and for other non-football events?

AB: Yes, for the Six Nations and for any other event. Indeed, we have discussed this and we believe that we could hire out space during the Six Nations even if we are playing at Tynecastle on the same day. Again, it all comes down to the way we put together our plan to utilize the upper floors and to maximise revenues to benefit the club.

 

Q12. Would you consider creating more of a visual impact on the exteriors of the Gorgie and Wheatfield Stands as they are quite plain-looking from the outside? Are there any plans in the near future to give them a power clean?

AB: There are definite plans for a power clean of all the stands once building work has finished. Ideas for creating visual impacts of the other stand exteriors are interesting but low down our priority list at present. There’s a lot of other work to complete.

 

 

Q13. There were plans for two TV big screens as part of the redevelopment plan. Is this still the case?

AB: Yes, this will happen eventually but like many things, it's a little lower down the list of priorities for now. The money these screens generate through advertising isn't huge but there is a high level of satisfaction in having them and they will improve the look of the stadium. We know through feedback how popular it is already having the digital clocks on the LED screens. To help offset the cost, we have already enquired about buying two second-hand screens which would allow us to install them sooner rather than later. We couldn't reach an agreement on that occasion but we will definitely address this as soon as possible.

 

Q14. Are there any plans to install Wi Fi access into stadium?

AB: There is Wifi availability throughout the various hospitality suites but not in the stands. We have to ask if it is necessary. Would it be worth the cost? Most people these days use their mobile phones.  We actually think reception would be poorer than the 4G service on each person's phone. So, we have no plans to install it.

 

Q15. What are the plans for the office/retail space under the Wheatfield when everything moves back over to the main stand?

AB: The original plan was to move out of the Wheatfield Stand, moving into the new stand.  However, we now think that the Wheatfield Stand undercroft provides very good office space and by staying here, we can free up more of the 2nd floor of the new stand for money generating purposes. The club shop though will definitely move over to the new stand. For the additional space leftover, we are open to the idea of renting this to other businesses. Again, we are constantly thinking of ways to generate money for the club. We now have a lot of space, and the issue is how best to use it. It's a problem we need to solve, but it's a nice problem to have.

 

Q16. Views from the front rows of the rear sections are constantly disrupted by people arriving late, especially the corporate guests. Are there plans to address this issue?

AB: We realise it's a problem and we are looking into ways to address it. One problem has been the flow of people on the concourse. There is no private Directors access as such, and so we have to cut across the concourse.  This means closing doors for short periods when directors are taking their seats.  With hindsight, we should have insisted the design allowed the directors to have their own entrance/exit.  We have a preferred solution that will see directors/club guests entering from 3rd floor rear of the stand, and taking their seats higher up the stand.  This will help alleviate the flow of people on the concourse.

In terms of corporate guests, the late arrivals were due in part to corporate guests having to take their hospitality in the Gorgie Suite, while their new lounges were under development.  With the new lounges on the first floor now fully operational, these problems should be minimised.

 

Q17. Will the club be offering stadium tours once the stand is fully operational?

AB: We're already doing stadium tours and we've just launched our Heritage Tour too .  We will make more announcements as the stand is completed. We expect tours of the completed Tynecastle Park to be very popular.

 

© Copyright Jambos Kickback fans forum.

 

Part Two: Finances

 

Q18. How is your relationship with the Foundation of Hearts and could you provide an overview of the current financial arrangement between Bidco and Fanco with regards to the date for the handover of shares?

AB: We have a very good, close working relationship and the Foundation's £3M contribution towards the Tynecastle Redevelopment Project will be completed by May or June this year. The final Bidco payment is then scheduled to happen in May or June of 2020 at which point the transfer of shares will take place.

 

Q19. Could you please provide an overview of the financial status of HMFC currently?

AB: We set the budget to break even this year and we should achieve that. Turnover will hopefully be in excess of £12M which is significantly higher than when we took over just a few years ago. Although maintenance of the old stand was costly, the scale of the new stand brings its own set of new costs. Maintenance, security and cleaning costs have, of course, all risen. We have been managing cash flow carefully and it has been a challenging year.  However, we are looking to get back to making profits, going forward. We have no bank loans or external debt, and of course, we must mention that we have a set of benefactors who continue to support the club. Our next target is to drive turnover up to £15M, which should happen within 2-3 years. 

 

Q20. Do you expect the football budget to be significantly higher after 2020?

AB: It will hopefully be higher than now but it has to be remembered that there will always be a need for capital projects and for continued investment in, for example, our Academy and Youth projects. We have several KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) including complying with FFP (Finacial Fair Play) regulations, which means keeping player salary levels to a sensible percentage of turnover. Therefore, increasing the turnover is key to a greater football budget. 

 

Q21. How much does it cost us to rent our training/Academy space at Riccarton and do you view it as good value for money?

AB: It costs in the region of £450,000 per annum and yes, we consider it good value for money. I would also add that we now have a performance school at Balerno so that's also very exciting for the future. We want to produce good young players through our performance school and our academy, play them in the first team, and then, when the time is right, sell them on for a profit. The facilities at Riccarton are magnificent.  In fact, one player we've shown around there recently described it as "fantastic". When players come to see what we have to offer, we show them the training/academy facilities at Riccarton. Then we bring them to Tynecastle and they'll see the new stand, and the improved stadium, and then we show them the city centre and what Edinburgh has to offer. Players are usually very impressed.

 

Q22. Has there been any discussion with the distillery or council about purchasing the former Tynecastle school building and the land immediately behind the Roseburn stand? Would this interest you?

AB: We have had discussions with the distillery about the old school but they're not interested in selling. We were also very keen to purchase the pitch behind the Wheatfield Stand but again, the distillery wasn't interested in selling. We haven’t given up on the idea. The distillery will have its own plans and that will drive what is possible.  Meanwhile, we have an excellent working relationship and agreements in place that allow us use of these facilities, when required.

 

Q23. Is it a club directive to get our best young players, like Harry Cochrane, on long term contracts to at least maximise transfer fees if we sell them on?

AB: Quite simply, yes. We did our best to try and persuade Callum Paterson and Jamie Walker to re-sign. Both were offered new, improved contracts but they have the final say and have to do what they think is right for them.  When our young players move on, we would normally expect to receive a development fee.  Only in like Sam Nicholson’s case, given he moved to the USA, did this not happen as these fees don't apply over there.  We do, in short, always try to persuade our best young players to sign contract extensions.

 

Part Three: Hearts (General)

 

Q24. What is your assessment of Craig Levein as manager?

AB: He's both an excellent Manager and Director of Football and I am pleased that he plays both roles. He is a people person who knows every player, including all our young players, and he has the trust of our young players and their parents; and cultivating good relationships with the parents is vital. He is absolutely motivated to develop young players and brings a great deal of experience to his dual role. He is generally well-respected in Scottish football, has great contacts, and he keeps me posted at all times. I’m happy with how things are going, and we have a very good working relationship.

 

Q25. Is the academy getting enough funds that allow us to compete with our rivals to sign the best young players?

AB: Yes, we've increased Academy spending year on year since taking over and we have now also made a considerable investment in our performance school.

 

Q26. Can we have live streams of the Academy games available to watch?

AB: No plans at the moment as this would need investment in expensive hardware and software equipment as well as staff.  In saying that, with regards to HeartsTV, we do plan to make more internal resources available to improve and increase available interviews/content, etc.

 

Q27. Retail: Are there still further improvements planned given the issues before Christmas with the tartan scarf availability among other things?

AB: Re the tartan scarves, the second batch order was from a different manufacturer than the first, so there was a difference in colour.  We offered to replace these with the originals if preferred. We now have a better handle on the ordering of these and now that we know how popular they are, we can confidently order them, in smaller, more frequent batches. The new shop will have a much bigger range of new products and we have a new retail manager. You'll see a big improvement.

 

Q28. Would you consider introducing a pop-up shop in the city centre during the festival? Lots of football fan tourists buy strips from the city they are visiting.

AB: Yes, we are trying to do so.  We checked this out, having seen the suggestion from Jambos Kickback! It is not as straight forward as it first seemed, but we have not given up.  We are also exploring the idea of a joint Hearts and Hibs shop at Edinburgh airport too.

 

Q29. Why doesn't the club produce promotional flyers for display at hotels and tourist info spots to encourage visiting tourists to attend matches?

AB: We are going to be doing exactly that. We have now had more recruitment in our marketing department as we were not doing enough, but we are now.

 

Q30. Are there any plans to improve camera quality for the HeartsTV highlights? Do you think we could we do more to improve the content of Hearts TV?

AB: We could do more, yes. As I said previously, we will be spending more time up at Riccarton to produce more on-the-pitch and off-the-pitch content. In terms of camera quality, all our home matches are shown in HD quality but away matches are shot at a very wide angle. It would be far better if away games were shot in HD but we would require better hardware.

 

Q31. What are your thoughts regarding a designated fans’ singing section?

AB: We have been approached by a group of young fans and we've taken their request seriously. They've asked for around 200-250 seats in the lower Gorgie Stand which we can't do just now due to season ticket holders being seated there.  For now we can offer them space in the Roseburn Stand and we’ll trial that starting next season. If it's successful, perhaps we can look at other areas of the stadium.

 

Q32. What can be done about sectarian songs sung by visiting fans?

AB: All we can do is attempt to police it and steward it. The reason I get accused of being hard on              our own fans is that I know who our fans are, and we want our fans to promote our club in the best            possible way. If 1,000 away fans start to sing something sectarian or offensive then there is nothing          much we can do other than to let the police do their job. Sectarianism is a societal problem, not              just a football problem.

 

Q33. What are your views on Colt teams? Are all Premiership teams getting the chance to enter colt teams or is it just Celtic and Rangers?

AB: The matter is still under discussion and we are following these discussions. The main challenge would appear to be financial, in that running a colt team would cost a lot of money. I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing but we don’t want a situation where it’s really only feasible for a few clubs and prohibitively expensive for everyone else.

 

Q34. Is there anything about the way the SPFL and SFA are run that you would like to see changed?

AB: To work more closely and better together, and to be more transparent. It all comes down to people, the desire to work co-operatively and reaching agreement and common understanding of organizational objectives. Both sides need to work together to maximize resources, minimize duplication of effort and agree strategic aims. 

 

Q35. Will Hearts seek assurances from the SFA that Rangers meet FFP criteria for a UEFA Licence for season 2018/19, given that the company has publicly reported substantial losses in each of its five years existence and requires further funding of £7.2m over the next two seasons as identified in their last accounts? I would add that Hearts as a member club of the SFA, in conjunction with all other clubs, has a duty to uphold the rules and integrity of the game. In Rangers case, and as a result of their financial record over a number of years, I don’t think that it is enough to accept self-certification by the club.  

AB: All I can say is that at Hearts, we have to jump through a lot of hoops to ensure we comply with FFP (Financial Fair Play) rules. We must assume that UEFA does the same with all other clubs and it's UEFA who decide if a team can play in Europe or not. It's not a question of whether a club is in debt. It's a case of, is that club in a position to pay the debt back. We have to complete enormous amounts of paperwork to UEFA, the SFA, the SPFL. When we took over in 2014, we had to attend a lot of meetings to prove we could run a financially viable football club. There is no reason to think Rangers are being treated any differently from any other team in that respect.

 

Q36. What have you personally contributed to since being elected to the SPFL board?  

AB: I've pushed for greater transparency.  I've listened and I think I've helped improve communications.  I’m told I offer a fresh perspective on things. I'm still seen as more of a business person than a football person, which is fair.  People are very interested in the fact that we are heading towards being a fan-owned club and I get a lot of questions on that subject.

 

Part Four: The Future

 

Q37. What other major projects do you have in mind for the club going forward that future FoH money can aid?

AB: The new pitch is one. I'm looking forward to finishing the new stand, getting it fully open and obtaining the completion certificate. There will always be more capital projects needing to be tackled along with facilities maintenance and we've discussed some of them here. We need to view Heart of Midlothian as two businesses; or one business with two parts. One, is the football operation, which needs continued investment to keep improving. Two is the non-football business which also needs continued investment to keep building the business and helping it to grow.  We need Heart of Midlothian to be a sustainable business, regardless of whether we have a successful or less successful season on-the-pitch.

 

Q38. If future demand for tickets was to regularly exceed supply what options do we have (if any) about increasing capacity? Are you concerned that we might one day outgrow Tynecastle?

AB: If there was demand for say, 28,000 home tickets then it would be a matter for the supporters to decide to back a move away from Tynecastle or to block it. There are certain big issues that will always be crucial to supporters. "Should we move to a new stadium?" "Should we change the club colours?" These are just examples, of course. The Governance arrangements, once the majority shareholding is transferred to FOH, will specify any issues that need consultation and moving stadium would certainly be one of those issues. But in term of outgrowing Tynecastle? Personally, I think we'll be fine for the foreseeable future.

 

Q39. How will Hearts look five years from now compared to the Hearts of today?

AB: The Board will meet this week to discuss our new 3-year plan. I would like that plan to focus on ensuring financial security for the club. We actually had £3M in the bank before starting the new stand so we know we can achieve this.  On the field, we want to be regularly competing in Europe, achieving top four finishes and challenging for trophies. And we want our turnover to break the £15M mark, to have tight financial controls and to be profitable.  As stated earlier, of course, within 5 years, we will be fan-owned.

...and the ladies team?

AB: We have given the ladies team advice and guidance and we've worked with them to produce a strategy.  Full financial support would be very expensive.  However, we will continue to support them and will ensure the ladies team is included in our overall strategy for developing the club.

 

Q40. And finally, do you have a message for the fans?

AB: We would not be here if it wasn't for the fans and I thank them for their continued support. The last few weeks have brought some disappointment, no doubt. Getting to the quarter final [of the Scottish Cup] was good but we need to do better and get to Hampden. That was the most disappointing part: not getting back to Hampden. It's been a tough season with the club under lots of pressure and scrutiny.  Of course, we must not forget that we didn't play a home match proper until November.  This put a lot of pressure on the players.  However I want to stress that there have been lots of positives this year.

We are very much looking forward to next season. Craig [Levein] has told me that we need at least 9 new players and we will be busy over the summer bringing these players in. Some have already been identified.  We will be back, stronger next season but we can't do it without our magnificent supporters. 

Your backing is essential.

 

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rudi must stay

Very optimistic after reading that. It's clear that Ann Budge and the other board members are very switched on, a joint Hearts Hibs shop at the airport is an intriguing idea

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Hearts could not have a better person running the club right now, Ann Budge is doing phenomenally well in building up the club as a business, which long-term can only give us the best opportunity to succeed on the pitch.  Keep up the great work, including such updates!  

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davemclaren
4 minutes ago, rudi must stay said:

Very optimistic after reading that. It's clear that Ann Budge and the other board members are very switched on, a joint Hearts Hibs shop at the airport is an intriguing idea

We should see the old firm as a duopoly we are all competing against and it makes sense to do things together with Hibs when it makes sense imo. 

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Thanks for the time and effort guys. I guess that the answers put paid to any idea of increasing the capacity by growing stands further. Not a problem at this time but vaguely frustrating if we continue to grow?

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rudi must stay
4 minutes ago, davemclaren said:

We should see the old firm as a duopoly we are all competing against and it makes sense to do things together with Hibs when it makes sense imo. 

 

I think there just isn't demand for a Hearts shop, we wasted alot on them under Romanov, they were slick shops but nobody was ever in them. But with Hibs, done right, that could work

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Interesting read.

 

TV studio plans are different again then? They had applied for planning permission to build a studio in the pylon by the Roseburn end. To lose rows of seats in the new stand because of a TV studio being added at the top is a bit ridiculous though. Quite a lot hadn't been thought about enough (directors entrance, toilet design etc), though at least they are looking to try fix that and budgeting for it.

 

 

 

 

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John Findlay

Ano Budge is far from perfect and mistakes have been made but, she knows this and learns from them.

Would I personally have anyone else at the helm at this time? Most certainly not. We are going from strength to strength. Yes it may be taking longer than many like but, it's happening. Fan owned by 2020. That is a mere Seven years after administration. Seven years, that is not alot of time in the great scheme of things.

Bottom line. Heart of Midlothian are here and, we are going to be here for a very, very long time to come.

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Radio Ga Ga
4 minutes ago, John Findlay said:

Ano Budge is far from perfect and mistakes have been made but, she knows this and learns from them.

Would I personally have anyone else at the helm at this time? Most certainly not. We are going from strength to strength. Yes it may be taking longer than many like but, it's happening. Fan owned by 2020. That is a mere Seven years after administration. Seven years, that is not alot of time in the great scheme of things.

Bottom line. Heart of Midlothian are here and, we are going to be here for a very, very long time to come.

Well put, it will take time, but with Ms Budge at the helm, we'll get there!

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So we are getting a singing section next season then, well done to the guys who organised this.

 

Will be interesting if they let us know what the 3 year plan is?

 

Good work in getting these answers guys, as always sounds positive, fingers crossed it all goes to plan.

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Absolute Scenes

Despite how it may seem like an unsuccessful season, I am honestly so glad that we have her as our Chair woman

 

An absolutely wonderful woman and true hearts fan :)

 

Though we sometimes go down we can aye come back up

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Excellent report, guys. Always good to hear in depth from Ann. We're still very much in the early stages of our journey with her and the development of our club.

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Great Q&A

 

Very pleased about the rethink on the use of the new stand. I thought the amount of hospitality options initially mentioned was overkill for a club of our stature. We are far better making money renting out the space to business and exhibitions etc than half empty hospitality once a fortnight / not at all through the summer. I think the TV studio overlooking the pitch is a good idea too.

 

Pleased to see her not get involved in any Rangers crap too.

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1 hour ago, Maple Leaf said:

but we also had to build a new wall between the tanks and the old high school, running north towards the West Approach Road; a boundary that has nothing to do with us. 

 

Outrages we had to pay for that. However better qualified people than me would have considered this and decided we had to pay for the wall.

 

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davemclaren
1 minute ago, Dannie Boy said:

 

Outrages we had to pay for that. However better qualified people than me would have considered this and decided we had to pay for the wall.

 

The distillery didn't see why they should build it to allow us to build a new stand. I agree with them. 

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Excellent work guys.

I've only reached question 2 but will give this a good read later.

 

I have stopped at 2 though, because this one has me stumped...

Quote

For example, the HSE informed us that not only did we have to build a new wall between us and the giant ethanol tanks in the North British Distillery, but we also had to build a new wall between the tanks and the old high school, running north towards the West Approach Road; a boundary that has nothing to do with us.  However, because we wanted our redevelopment to take place and regulations had changed since the other stands were built, we had to pay for that wall at a very large additional cost.

 

Why in the blue **** are the distillery not being made to pay for this? It's their ethanol tank, what does us having a new stand have to do with the fact a distillery might blow up a high school next to it?

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2 minutes ago, davemclaren said:

The distillery didn't see why they should build it to allow us to build a new stand. I agree with them. 

 

I'm sorry, unless there's more to this, I can't understand what bearing our new stand has on this.

They have a distillery, it is next to a school, new regulations have come in, why have the distiollery not been made to react to these regulations.

What impact does the stand have?

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1 minute ago, davemclaren said:

The distillery didn't see why they should build it to allow us to build a new stand. I agree with them. 

 

 

My question would be was why wasn't it there already if the need for the wall came from the HSE. Its built now but I feel we've been used. 

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Really great read!

 

Always love how transparent we are as a club nowadays.

 

Excited to see what kind of events/functions we can offer in the new stand when complete. Hopefully get some Festival events in there as it is a regular stream of cash.

 

And a shop with Hibs at the airport is a really good idea.

Would also maybe be possible to do the Pop-Up shop for the festival as a joint venture as well? May make it easier

 

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2 minutes ago, Dannie Boy said:

 

 

My question would be was why wasn't it there already if the need for the wall came from the HSE. Its built now but I feel we've been used. 

 

Agreed.

 

And why do we need to protect the old school? Is that building still in use. The new school fair enough, but a redundant building?

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Thanks for doing that. Lots of very interesting points.

 

I'd personally be against a joint shop venture with hibs. I'd be uncomfortable having to have any dealings with them whatsoever on a joint basis.

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6 minutes ago, davie1980 said:

 

I'm sorry, unless there's more to this, I can't understand what bearing our new stand has on this.

They have a distillery, it is next to a school, new regulations have come in, why have the distiollery not been made to react to these regulations.

What impact does the stand have?

 

Puzzling, annoying, and expensive.

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1 minute ago, davie1980 said:

 

Agreed.

 

And why do we need to protect the old school? Is that building still in use. The new school fair enough, but a redundant building?

 

Giving some more thought and pure speculation on my part. I wonder if this "extra" help smooth the whole process  of the build through potentially choppy waters. 

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10 minutes ago, davie1980 said:

Excellent work guys.

I've only reached question 2 but will give this a good read later.

 

I have stopped at 2 though, because this one has me stumped...

 

Why in the blue **** are the distillery not being made to pay for this? It's their ethanol tank, what does us having a new stand have to do with the fact a distillery might blow up a high school next to it?

 

We made the change

 

6 minutes ago, Dannie Boy said:

 

 

My question would be was why wasn't it there already if the need for the wall came from the HSE. Its built now but I feel we've been used. 

 

Regulations changed 

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9 minutes ago, Dannie Boy said:

 

 

My question would be was why wasn't it there already if the need for the wall came from the HSE. Its built now but I feel we've been used. 

Rules for new builds and existing buildings are different - you can't expect old projects to reflect new standards. 

 

Apparently regulations dictated there had to be a wall built for us to get permission, and why would the distillery have to pay because of someone else's development?

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5 minutes ago, Smithee said:

Rules for new builds and existing buildings are different - you can't expect old projects to reflect new standards. 

 

Apparently regulations dictated there had to be a wall built for us to get permission, and why would the distillery have to pay because of someone else's development?

 

It is their perimeter and the wall is to protect against leakage from their storage containers. I understood at the time NBD would be contributing towards the wall but sounds like that didn't happen. I think had the club not been pressed for time with the new stand, they'd have taken a harder line with NBD and the wall.

 

The confusing thing is that the wall protects the Roseburn stand, not the new stand. So this is something I think that NBD should've been forced to do under new regulations regardless of the new stand or not.

 

To me it sounds like NBD weren't fully adhering to modern H&S regulations by protecting against spills on their property. But would've needed to be tried in court I guess, and no time for that when building work had to begin ASAP.

 

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13 minutes ago, Mikey1874 said:

 

We made the change

 

 

Regulations changed 

 Tell me about it, my whole working life had to adapt to ever changing regulations. However this regulation didn't just appear when we applied for a Building warrant or Planning permission. Any way its done and dusted now and we have a wonderful new stand which I'm delighted to sit in. So I shouldn't grumble to much. 

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Regarding an Airport shop, if I remember rightly, rent is expensive and they take a cut of the turnover. That's a lot of strips to sell to tourists. I would imagine a pop up kiosk would be better. It would test the water and presumably not be a long lease.

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4 minutes ago, kila said:

 

It is their perimeter and the wall is to protect against leakage from their storage containers. I understood at the time NBD would be contributing towards the wall but sounds like that didn't happen. I think had the club not been pressed for time with the new stand, they'd have taken a harder line with NBD and the wall.

 

The confusing thing is that the wall protects the Roseburn stand, not the new stand. So this is something I think that NBD should've been forced to do under new regulations regardless of the new stand or not.

 

To me it sounds like NBD weren't fully adhering to modern H&S regulations by protecting against spills on their property. But would've needed to be tried in court I guess, and no time for that when building work had to begin ASAP.

 

Did I read that we use the old school for parking?

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Great read!

 

Well done to all those involved, very professionally managed from start to finish!

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been here before
1 hour ago, rudi must stay said:

.. joint Hearts Hibs shop at the airport is an intriguing idea

 

54 minutes ago, rudi must stay said:

 

I think there just isn't demand for a Hearts shop, we wasted alot on them under Romanov, they were slick shops but nobody was ever in them. But with Hibs, done right, that could work

 

28 minutes ago, Yoda said:

Thanks for that.  The airport shop with H1b5 makes perfect sense.

 

17 minutes ago, Gulf Jambo said:

 

And a shop with Hibs at the airport is a really good idea.

Would also maybe be possible to do the Pop-Up shop for the festival as a joint venture as well? May make it easier

 

 

Why not include Edinburgh City in the mix too? An Edinburgh football shop.

 

Temporary in the town during the festival an other occasions too.

 

As regards the pitch- hybrid or otherwise- I read this Telegraph article recently about injuries sustauned on hybrid pitchrs, with half a mind on what might happen with our plans...

 

Paying Thr Price For the Beautiful Game

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Just now, Smithee said:

Did I read that we use the old school for parking?

 

Do we pay rent to use it? It is their land regardless, their responsibility to make their site safe and secure. I’d guess they were going to take too long to do that so the club had to foot the bill or no planning permission. 

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ford donald
1 hour ago, davemclaren said:

We should see the old firm as a duopoly we are all competing against and it makes sense to do things together with Hibs when it makes sense imo. 

 Always made sense to me.Dont'cut off your nose to spite your face!

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Good read but as regards Q32, you can do something about it, Ann.

You can cut allocations. 

To say there is nothing we can do is not the right answer. Be hard on the people who deserve it.

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