Hearts owner vows to do all she can to support Craig Levein’s January plans



Hearts owner Ann Budge insists the club will do all they can to support manager Craig Levein’s January signing plans as the Gorgie outfit attempt to turn around a stuttering campaign.

Despite spending £12 million on a new main stand, Budge insists she realises that the football department must not be neglected.

Levein, who returned for his second stint in the dugout in August when he succeeded the sacked Ian Cathro, is hoping to get the green light to bolster the squad at the turn of the year.

A left-back, goal-scoring midfielder and winger are all on the former Scotland manager’s wish-list.

Budge, who has watched the side fail to win any of their last six matches – including three at the redeveloped Tynecastle – is hoping that that board can agree to Levein’s signing plans.

Budge, who sanctioned the arrival of nine new players last January when Cathro was in charge, said: “We’re spending a lot of money at the moment but I have always said the supporters that we are a football club and first and foremost I have to look after what we’re doing as a football club.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in January but we’ll certainly do everything we can to continue to do everything we can to support the football side of the business, I’ve never said no yet.”

While the construction of the new 7,300 main stand has consumed a significant amount of the club’s finances, Budge insists the new enclosure will play a huge role in ensuring Hearts can go from strength to strength in the future.

She added: “The 103 year old main stand was costing a lot of money to maintain and although people loved it, it was no longer fit for purpose.

“If we’re going to grow this club and make it sustainable long-term, we had to have the capacity increased, the increase in hospitality – all the things we need to generate additional revenue.

“I think we’re all incredibly proud of the new stand when you think back six months ago that we had a 103-year-old stand over there and in six months we’ve built the new stand. everyone associated with the club is absolutely delighted.

“The supporters have made this possible, it costs a lot of money to build something like this and we still have a long way to go, without the supporters it would’d have happened.”

Hearts announced last week, that they had reached the 14,000 milestone for season tickets sold and Budge is thrilled that the fans are continuing to show their support.

She added: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have managed to sell over 14,000 season tickets, that was the target at the start of the year, a very slight increase on last year.

“We were confident we would get there and I’m delighted we have.”

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