Ann Budge has hailed the announcement of Hearts’ new partnership with Save the Children, insisting that it’s “win-win-win” for everyone involved.
The Jambos will wear the charity’s name on the front of the home and away kits for the next three years, after entering into a partnership through philanthropy that will see a seven-figure sum supporting both the club and the charity.
Club charity Big Hearts will also receive a donation to fund their work in the local community, and club owner Ann couldn’t hide her delight as the partnership was announced.
Speaking to HeartsTV, she said: “It’s been an amazing few weeks. A few days ago we were celebrating what we had achieved on the field, and now we’re celebrating what we’ve achieved, or at least one of the achievements, off the field.
“It’s not a commercial sponsor that we have on our shirts, but we’ve achieved terms through this agreement that more than equate to that. So we have lost nothing by having no commercial sponsor and gained everything, in my view.
“Its very pleasing to hear that reaction to the partnership has been overwhelmingly positive. I personally can’t see any downside to this; I think it’s a win-win-win for everybody. I’m delighted that the fans are happy.”
Director of Football Craig Levein also shared his enthusiasm for the deal, telling HeartsTV: “It’s amazing, isn’t it? I’ve been involved in some important signings in my time at Hearts, but this is perhaps the most significant.
“It’s such a great match, a perfect match as they’re saying. It’s such a good story and pretty much in line with things that are coming out of the club just now, since Ann’s taken over. I’m really proud to be part of it.”
The news was met with widespread backing from all quarters, with supporters, media and league officials expressing their pride at partnership.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said: “Heart of Midlothian is to be congratulated on their sporting success this season; and also on this exciting new partnership, which will bring welcome additional funds into the Scottish game as well as to the most worthy of causes.”
A Scottish FA spokesperson added: "We commend Heart of Midlothian for today’s announcement, which demonstrates the strength and value of Scottish football in helping to tackle society’s inequalities, especially among vulnerable groups.
“Such innovative thinking and partnership also plays a significant part in reinforcing the reputation of the national sport in Scotland.”
The partnership unveiling press conference, plus interviews with Ann and Craig, is available to watch now on HeartsTV.