Heart of Midlothian FC announces today that Ian Murray MP is to stand down as a director of the club.
Ian will also be relinquishing his roles as chairman and director of the Foundation of Hearts at the end of next month, the decision having been taken following the recent General Election.
“Since my re-election I have taken on a number of senior responsibilities that will reduce the spare time I have available to dedicate to other interests,” said Ian.
“I have, after much soul-searching, taken the decision that the FoH requires a new chair and director who can give maximum attention to continuing to grow the membership and preparing the organisation for full supporter ownership.
“I’m very proud to have been part of a team who helped to own the history and shape the future. Generations of future Jambos who put their hard-earned money in to save the club will look back on these times and say ‘we did that’.”
Outlining his intentions in a letter to the FoH board of directors, Ian pays tribute to the supporters, to club owner Ann Budge and to everyone associated with the Foundation of Hearts.
He concludes that his involvement with FoH has been “one of the greatest pleasures and privileges of my life.”
Ann praised Ian’s contribution to the club, saying: “I fully understand why Ian has come to this decision and want to thank him for everything he has done for both the Foundation and the club.
“He has made a valuable contribution to the Hearts board, from which he will be standing down at the end of June. A second Foundation director will be appointed to the Hearts board to maintain the level of Foundation representation and ensure the terms of the agreement are met.”
Succeeding Ian Murray will be current vice-chair, Brian Cormack. He will take over the chairman role on 30 June, the end of the Foundation’s financial year.
“I want to pay tribute to the work Ian has done as chair of the Foundation over the last two years,” Brian said.
“This has been a hugely challenging time and Ian’s diplomatic strategic and oratory skills, as well as his leadership and his passion for the club, have been absolutely superb. He has been at the front of a mass movement which has, in partnership with Ann Budge, saved this great club and laid the foundations for the future.
“We understand why he is standing down at this time and thank him for his tireless commitment and the many skills he has brought to this cause.”
Looking ahead, Brian – who recently joined the board of Heart of Midlothian FC - re-affirmed the healthy position which the Foundation has achieved thanks to the support of more than 8000 fans paying monthly direct debits which are then channelled to the club.
“We have recently and successfully completed year one of a five-year plan to stabilise the club and pave the way for the transition to fan ownership,” he said. “We will, of course, miss Ian’s skills but we have a strong and very energetic board which is working closely with Ann Budge and her team.
"Our priority in this next phase of our development will be to continue to build the Foundation membership in order to provide the vital financial support which underpins the club’s effective and excellent management, and to develop the strategy for how the club will be managed at the end of year five.”
The vacancy on the Foundation of Hearts board will be filled from the membership and this process will take place at the time of the organisation’s annual general meeting later this year.
“This is a time of change,” added Brian, “but we are, thanks to the supporters, in a fantastic position. Together - from an unshakeably positive foundation - we move into a new phase with renewed vigour and commitment.”