Club News

New chairman of Big Hearts appointed

26th August 2014

Jim Panton speaks of his 'honour' at being invited to succeed David Southern.

Big Hearts Community Trust today announced Jim Panton as its new chairman after David Southern stepped down from the role following his appointment as Dundee United general manager.

Jim, who takes up his post with immediate effect, was universally approved by the charity's board of trustees. He is the former chief executive of Erskine and Poppyscotland, and is currently executive chairman of Panton McLeod, a technology firm working for the water industry in the UK and USA.

A former Army pilot, Jim spent 12 years flying and managing utility and attack helicopters.

David said: "I am delighted that Jim has agreed to accept the offer of becoming chairman and his experience and knowledge will be very valuable as the charity continues to develop in the years ahead. I am sure that Big Hearts will continue to touch many more people's lives in so many more positive ways in future.

"In parallel with the positive change at club level, I am confident that Big Hearts is well positioned to play an expanded role in the community.

"From a personal viewpoint it has been a privilege to chair Big Hearts in recent years and I am very fortunate to have had the support of an excellent board of trustees."

Speaking as the new chairman of Big Hearts, Jim said: "It is an absolute honour to have been invited by my fellow-trustees to become the chairman of Big Hearts.

"I would like to express the gratitude of the board of trustees to David Southern. Nobody will ever quite know the extent of his remarkable commitment to Big Hearts, during his term as trustee and chairman. We wish him every success in his future with Dundee United, and thank him for the part he has played as chair.

"Over the last eight years our mission has been, 'to create a legacy in which people with Big Hearts build better communities together,' and never has that been a truer challenge and opportunity after the last difficult period for the club itself.

"We owe something back to the community which has been so good to us. In the short term we will be conducting a review of Big Hearts, talking to key supporters' groups, new (and old) staff at the club, and wider stakeholders to define how we evolve a programme awarded Best Pro-Club in the Community 2014 by the Scottish FA.

"This means working closer with the club itself than ever before, and I look forward to forming a highly productive and energised relationship with Ann Budge, as majority shareholder and chairwoman of the club. Ann has stressed several times - quite rightly - her determination for Hearts to be a 'community club' and we know together we can achieve a great deal."