Everyone at Hearts hopes that this message finds you and your families safe and well. We appreciate your continued support in what are difficult times for everyone.
We are very much focused on preparing for the return to football, when safe to do so, as well as playing our part in supporting the community during these stressful times.
Despite being in lockdown there is still a lot going on at the club so please allow us to share with you some positive news.
We are delighted to have reached an agreement on temporary salary changes with the entire playing squad. This agreement is essential to help the club manage the impact of COVID-19 on Scottish football, which has seen the suspension of our game.
This commitment from all of our players, backroom team and off-field staff, which will help to maintain the long-term sustainability of the club, is hugely appreciated and we thank everyone for their continued support.
The majority of the squad are on furlough leave, with a couple of exceptions due to ongoing treatment for injury, and will continue to maintain their fitness at home.
We have been enormously grateful to the 2000+ supporters who have renewed season tickets despite the uncertainty and without a payment plan. We fully recognise that in these uncertain times, many supporters have a big decision to make in terms of not just how, but indeed whether, they can continue to support the Jambos next season. Many of you have indicated a desire to spread the cost of your season ticket and we can now provide an update with regards to our repayment plan.
We had announced that we would be changing finance provider to V12 for the 20/21 season. There was, as previously advised, a delay in the process (completely outwith our control) and as a consequence were unable to make finance available when we launched. As a result of COVID-19, unfortunately, V12 have had a change of policy with regard to football club finance. Since the proposed changes to their terms would disadvantage the club, we have decided to continue our relationship with Premium Credit. They have confirmed that they are happy to continue to offer our supporters the same interest rates and payment plan options as they provided this season.
We plan to launch this finance option later this week.
The majority of our staff who are still working are doing so from the safety of their own home. However, we also need to ensure that Tynecastle Park is ready for our return. Our facilities team, whilst following government guidelines, continue to work at the stadium in order to take care of essential maintenance. Our Head Groundsman Colin is also working diligently to ensure the pitch is well looked after in preparation for the summer maintenance. At this point in time the pitch looks fabulous!
The Clubstore remains open for business online, delivering orders on a weekly basis. We have been blown away by sales so far especially for the Third Kit, our fastest ever selling non-home jersey, which continues to prove popular with supporters.
We also have a range of fantastic ongoing promotions, including 50% off this season’s home and away jerseys - plus generous discounts on items such as training wear. Please click HERE for more details.
We will soon be launching next season’s kit, so keep your eyes peeled for updates on our social media channels in the coming weeks.
Heart of Midlothian is fortunate to have a support that cares deeply about the club and the wider community it serves. Hearts and our charity Big Hearts have been able to galvanise that collective spirit of community to deliver a broad range of support services, drawing on thousands of hours of volunteer time from a committed fan base.
The effects of the pandemic have impacted heavily on the lives of older people, on families suffering financial hardship and on society’s most vulnerable people. Once again, supporters, charitable funders and commercial sponsors have stepped up to help the club and Big Hearts adapt and extend the reach of our community activities to respond in the most positive ways.
We have teamed up with Social Bite to help distribute emergency food parcels to the homeless, to vulnerable individuals and to families plunged into poverty through redundancy. Volunteers from the club and Big Hearts are now producing 6,000 food parcels every week from the kitchens at Tynecastle.
Big Hearts has established 3 dedicated helplines to assist vulnerable groups and have also moved vital mental health and kinship care support services online. Staff and volunteers are making food deliveries and are creating regular activity packs for older people and families in South West Edinburgh in order to continue to deliver a modified form of the hugely popular Football Memories programme. Volunteers have also been helping to make regular calls to older supporters who find themselves isolated and in need of support.
Hearts’ Online Education
The club recently moved its free digital educational programmes online in order to support young people and their families amidst the school closures. This is a tough time for parents who may be struggling with homeschooling and for their children who need constructive ways to keep occupied. Our pioneering digital programmes are fun and engaging and are helping young people to develop what are undoubtedly vital skills for the future. More than 200 new participants have signed up in the past two weeks – and there’s room for plenty more! More information can be found HERE.
The club is also in regular dialogue with the government and the NHS to offer support and facilities as required during the ongoing crisis.
Supporters can take comfort from the fact that the Hearts family is responding in this way and we want to acknowledge the role that our fantastic fans are playing to make the above programmes possible. We do need additional support as services expand and if you can offer your time to volunteer in our outreach programmes, please email email@example.com.
We are also paying tribute to those who are selflessly working on the frontline to keep us safe and well. Over the past week, our supporters have been nominating their own #heartsheroes; their friends and family members who are keeping us safe, fed and well. You can see some of these nominations HERE. We want to thank each and every one of you.
We will continue to provide supporters with updates on the latest from the club during these unprecedented times. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure that football can return to Tynecastle as soon as it is safe to do so.