June 2015

Intro

The Foundation continued with its forward momentum throughout May with membership again reaching its highest ever level. Commitment to the cause is as high as ever and we will be working hard to ensure that this continues over the summer months.

Our blog this month includes Ian Murray’s heart-felt resignation letter, my own personal reflection on my first six months as a Director and other news from the Foundation.

Ian Murray Resigns

At the May Board our Chairman Ian Murray announced his intention to stand down from his position as Chairman of the Foundation and Director of the Club. Ian has contributed an enormous amount during his tenure; acting as a spokesperson, advocate and leader. His resignation letter to the Board was a moving tribute to the progress we have made together and is included below, unedited and in full:

 

Dear Friends,

RESIGNATION FROM THE FOUNDATION OF HEARTS BOARD

I write this letter with a very heavy heart.

It is with great regret that I write formally to the Board of Directors of the Foundation of Hearts to formally tender my resignation as the Chair of FoH and a Board Director with effect from our financial year end of 30 June 2015.

Since my re-election last week I have taken on a number of senior responsibilities that will reduce the spare time I have available to dedicate to others interests.  I have, after much soul searching, taken the decision that the FoH requires a new Chair and Director that can give maximum attention to growing the membership beyond 10,000 and prepare the organisation for full supporter ownership.

I never envisaged that I would be involved in the saving of my beloved club.  I always remember sitting on my father’s knee when I was very young and he would recall stories of Hearts greats and games.  The main topic of conversation when the family got together at Christmas and for other social occasions was our favourite club. All those stories were not always favourable but they were cherished memories nonetheless.

Hearts means so much to me and tens of thousands of others.  We can all say why, but for me it is because my father died at the same age I am today.  He left my older brother at 13 and me at 9.  The glue that stuck our family together was the maroon glue from Tynecastle both before his death and certainly afterwards.  The few memories I have of him are from the terraces watching Hearts. That is why we should never let any club die.  It means too much to too many people, regardless of who you support.

Over 30 years later I, myself, can recall too many times watching Hearts that I have shed a tear of joy or disappointment, hugged and kissed a complete stranger, danced for joy on a concrete terracing, and sang myself hoarse.  Those are what memories are made of.

When I answered my mobile a few years ago and was asked to help Hearts, I did it without hesitation despite the considerable political risks.  It has not been an easy few years but just to see smiles on the faces of supporters that are proud of their club again has made it all worthwhile.

I’m very proud that Ann Budge is transforming the club and Scottish Football.

I’m very proud of each and every one of the supporters who dug deep time and time again to save our club.

I’m very proud of everyone, both past and present at FoH.

I’m very proud that FoH and Ann have made sure that fathers, uncles, mothers and aunties of the future can recall the stories of the past to their loved ones.

I’m very proud to have been part of the team who helped to own the history and create the future – but there is a time for everyone to move on.

Generations of future Jambos will look back on these times and say “we did that” and I’m glad to have played a small part in that story.

I will also as a result be standing down from the Club Board.  I wish the new Director and Chair all the very best of luck in the future and offer my help and advice whenever it is required.

Long may our beloved club continue to play an integral part in Edinburgh, local communities and in the lives of everyone who loves her.

It’s been one of the greatest pleasures and privileges of my life.

Best wishes and good luck.

Yours for Hearts,

Ian Murray MP

 

Ian leaves with the best wishes of the Foundation and the Club Board. He will remain a member of the Foundation and, as a member, will continue to play an important role in creating history at Tynecastle.

Brian Cormack, who last month joined the Club Board, will succeed Ian as Chairman of the Foundation. Ian’s departure also leaves a vacancy on the Foundation and Club Boards which will be filled by due process in the coming months.

Proud to pledge pin badge

We’ve listened to comments on previous blogs as well as feedback from members at our match day stand and are pleased to confirm that we have arranged for the manufacture of an official Foundation of Hearts pin badge. Having succeeded in supporting the Club through one of the most difficult and testing periods in its history, we believe our members have a lot to puff out their chests and be proud about. We hope members will wear the badge to show they are part of our movement and are proud to pledge. The badge will be available for a voluntary cash donation and we are working to have it available for the new season. As ever, all proceeds raised will be used to support the Club on its return to the Premiership. Watch this space for further details.

6 Months at the Foundation

Six months have passed since the Foundation’s inaugural AGM last December and, as the Foundation’s first member to be elected to the Board, I thought it apt to conclude this month’s blog with some personal reflections on my involvement.

I admit I had a degree of nervousness on the morning of my first Board meeting. The prospect of an audience with the likes of Ian Murray and Ann Budge, people I had previously only read about with admiration, was a daunting one. I have to say, however, that everyone associated with the Foundation and the Club could not have made me more welcome. I’ve felt the full support of the Heart’s family since the day I was elected. Everyone is open and receptive to new ideas which makes every meeting interesting, engaging and productive.

Since my election I’ve sought to be involved and share my ideas wherever possible. I’ve supported several of our initiatives and have worked on things ranging from member communication to getting up to speed on financial control (being an accountant, I just couldn’t resist!).

In terms of member communication, the feedback we have received suggests that this blog has gone some way to improving communication between the Board and members. However, I think we can still do more and our Marketing and Member Engagement Committee meets regularly to ensure members continue to be engaged in and informed of our ongoing activities. I’ve also spent time at Tynecastle and our match day stand talking to members and listening to their views and feedback on the Foundation. The idea for the pin badge, for example, came from a member who sits next to me at Tynecastle, so I can’t take any of the credit for that!

From a financial point of view, I’ve drawn on the expertise from my accountancy background to enhance the monthly financial reports reviewed by the Board. The contribution of every member is precious and I think it is important we continue to adopt our ‘every penny is a prisoner’ approach to costs to continue to make sure that more than 95% of our income flows directly to the Club.

My first six months at the Foundation have been exciting, fascinating and challenging in equal measure. I’ve been struck by one thing above all and that is the absolute and unrelenting desire from everyone involved to do the right thing by Heart of Midlothian Football Club. Every decision made at the Foundation is centered on that core principal. Hearts people making the decisions for Hearts. The way it should always have been. I am massively proud every day to be a part of that.

30 thoughts on “June 2015”

  1. Many thanks to Ian Murray and all at FOH for all their efforts in giving the Hearts supporting family the opportunity to save our Hearts.
    As a supporter for 50 years I have many memories of good and not so good times following the Hearts and now have sons and grandchildren who pledge and follow the Hearts.

  2. Just back from Canada and found out That Ian Murray has resigned. I can only say that I was moved by his passion for our great club. I started going to Tyncastle in 1954 with my Grandfather who was also a passionate Jambo and have wonderful memories of him. Good luck Ian in all you do.

  3. Thanks Ian for helping to save our beloved Hearts I was also taken to my first Hearts game by my Father and have been hooked ever since becoming a share holder and member of the Foundation To all Jambos keep up your support and help make our club great again.

  4. 41 years not out for me . since i went with my then future brother in law jimmy Gowans in 1974 . Thanks to Ian Murray and others our great club has survived.so other generations can roar on the Jambos good times and bad . Wear the badge with pride .1874

  5. Firstly, a big thank you to Ian Murray for probably the pivotal role in saving Hearts. Like Ian, I became a Jambo through my father, now some thirty years gone. However, apart from the sentimental view, I was hugely impressed with the strategic approach, led by Ian, to the delicate negotiations with the previous owners and then the Lithuanian authorities. One false move or enemy made would have derailed the whole process terminally. Well done!

  6. I have just read the letter from Ian Murray with a heavy heart. Along with others,his contribution to what will be seen as the saving and revival of our famous club will go down in it’s history as a defining contribution that will never, never be forgotten.
    As a man and a labour politician (shame as he was so near to perfection) we can now sympathise that he has another challenge to help revive his political club, a more daunting challenge I think. However his contribution to Hearts cause and his standing in the Edinburgh community I think was partly reflected in why he was the only labour man to survive the night of the ‘long skean dhu’.
    Here’s a Gorgie cheer to the continued support of all FOH members and I look forward to wearing my pin badge with pride.

  7. Would just like to wish Ian Murray my best wishes and thanks for all the hard work he has put into his role in saving our beloved club. I would also urge ALL Jambos to become members of FOH and watch this great club of ours go from strength to strength. As a Fife based Jambo just a reminder that we don’t all live in Edinburgh and there is a huge support here!!

  8. Ian Murray’s resignation letter touched me. The passion for Hearts Football Club shone through and I wish Ian all the best in the future. Thank you for being part of our story. The Hearts family are proud of your achievements. We will now go forward from strength to strength. I will wear my FOH pin with pride. HHGH

  9. I would like to thank Ian for his support and dedication to FOH as without him we would not be where we are today. With Ian we have reunited the Hearts family and it is great to be part of it today and all the days to follow. Thanks Ian.

  10. Sad to see Ian leave FOH but understandable given recent political events. Glad you still represent Edinburgh South though and no surprise given your hard work on that front too! Thanks for your endeavours to see us over the line and subsequently flourish. HHGH

  11. Downside of popularity means unlikely to get ticket for match at Tynie as live auchnagatt in Aberdeenshire will just have to make do with away stand at pittodrie.will be proud to wear pin badge look forward to hearing when it will be available.

  12. It is unfortunate Ian has stepped down. The words in his resignation letter say it all and his passion for the club shines through. Good luck to you Ian.

    Great idea re the badge Barry and look forwards to wearing one, as long as it doesn’t ruin my new Hearts top which I should get soon! I am sure that you and the remaining foundation directors will continue to grow the membership and rest assured us Hearts fans will stand right beside you in support . Keep up the good work. HHGH.

  13. Big thanks to Ian and Ann for dragging hearts back from oblivion and coordinating the support into pledges, something some other teams can only dream of. Also to Barry I’ve been impressed with your enthusiasm and feel you are a good appointment to push the foundation forward. Well done all………

  14. Thanks very much Ian for everything you have done for the Heart of Midlothian. Vey moving words that we can all associate with.
    Best wishes for the future, and I am so glad I still have a Labour MP representing me in Edinburgh south.

  15. Great to see so many well deserved plaudits for the work Ian has done for Hearts. For me, the words of Andy Morris (10.29) and Robert Gillies (10.08) say it all. And as Ian says “These are what memories are made of”

  16. A big thanks to Ian Murray and good wishes on his next adventure. I agree with Craig Falconer in that me being a Jambo but working in Englan, limits my attendance at Tynecastle. With record season ticket sales going on, I fear that I will not be able to see my team again ‘in the flesh’!! No worries tho’ as it is great to see the huge support and affection for this club. It will not stop me contributing via the foundation. HMFC4E

  17. Thanks very much Ian. Though our politics differ our hearts lie at Tynecastle. All the best.
    Think the badge is a great idea. I’ll be having one.

  18. Craig Falconer.

    Good idea re early ticket incentives for FOH members, perhaps extra loyalty points would be the mechanism based on FOH points?

  19. Sad to see you go Ian all the best for you future.
    I would also be proud to wear the badge but don’t know how I would get it as I am in Perth Australia

  20. Thank you Foundation and particularly Ian for the massive contribution to help save our beloved Hearts.
    From my point of view Ian pitched his communications throughout at a correct level so that we all felt involved and appreciated.A big thanks again though to all and may we continue with progress and success .

  21. Would echo all the comments concerning Ian Murray’s contribution. I would be delighted to wear the pin badge if only to show that you don’t have to live in Edinburgh or the central belt to pledge. Ellon is only 150miles away but the miles mean nothing.

  22. Thank you for the update. What a fantastic and heartfelt letter from Ian Murray, he should be very proud in the part he has played in saving this great football club. I think a dinner in his honour would be an appropriate send off and a good gesture of thanks from us FOH members.

    As we have seen from Ian’s letter Hearts are more than just a football club, the history and family connections, the memories of various successes and failures have shaped us into what we are today. Hearts have regained their rightful place as a part of the wider community and have shown that with the right direction and the installation of core values; great things can be achieved.

    I’d be proud to wear my FOH pin badge.

    All the very best to Ian and the wider Hearts community.

  23. I have read Ian murrays letter and had a tear in my eye because so much applies to all jumbos. He has done a wonderful job and I wish him all the best in future.

  24. Grateful thanks must go to Ian Murray for all his efforts on our behalf; I wish him every success in the future.

    The idea of a pin badge for members is a good one, let me know when these become available as I for one would wear it with pride!

  25. Very proud to be a Foundation member of the Hearts family. Congratulations to Ian for a great job and good luck for the future. HHGH.

  26. As a fourth generation Hearts supporter I am delighted to have supported Foundation of Hearts from its inception.
    The record sale of season tickets is testimony to the honest and transparent
    workings of the group.Living and working in Elgin limits me in terms of getting to games..Could there be a mechanism whereby I could buy tickets before they are on general sale?

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