Report on the Operations and Activities of The Association 2011
Not for the first time in recent years the Club is in turmoil going into the New Year with Mr Romanov looking to sell the Club and as yet no potential new owners showing their hand. We have been told to expect a clear out of the higher paid players in the January window period as the Club tries to balance the books and much more emphasis put on bringing through our younger players from the Under 19 side as well as bringing back younger players who are currently on loan with other Clubs. Already we have seen the departure of Eggert Jonsson and Calum Elliot and we expect more to follow. We are indeed fortunate that the present under 19 side have been playing exceptionally well and Academy products such as Ryan McGowan and Scott Robinson are beginning to look the part in the first team. The appointment of Academy Director John Murray as Director of Football is perhaps a sign of the future. John is a good friend of the Association and we congratulate him on his appointment.
Progress on the redevelopment of Tynecastle or a move to a new ground has been slow, indeed seems to have been going on for years. This issue is not going to go away and as the old Stand gradually dilapidates something will have to be done. The Association will be pressing the Board to make progress on this matter in the coming year.
The delay in wages for a number of first team players over the last few months is totally unacceptable and the Association hopes that this situation is rectified as soon as possible. The Association has expressed its views to the Board on this matter. Against this background it is to the credit of the team that over the last two games against Dunfermline and Motherwell, they have played exceptionally well and achieved two good victories. Let us hope that they can take this form into the New Year and move towards a target of at least third position in the SPL.
The Club has also seen the surprise departure of Manager Jim Jefferies this year and on behalf of the Association, the Committee wishes to acknowledge the enormous contribution Jim has made to the Club he loves over many years and we also wish to welcome new manager Paulo Sergio and wish him well.
During the year the Association has held seven General Dinner Meetings as well as an Annual General Meeting. The Committee believe that we have enjoyed an excellent range of speakers at our Dinners throughout the year covering a vast number of topics all concerned with football in general and many specific to Heart of Midlothian FC.
It would be churlish to pick out high points as all performed admirably and a huge vote of thanks is due to our guests, Hearts Management Board, Scotsman Chief Football Writer Stuart Bathgate, Scottish Team Manager Craig Levein, Player of the Year Marian Kello, Andrew Driver, Rudi Skacel, Manager Paulo Sergio and his Coaching Team, SFA President Campbell Ogilvie, ex players Henry Smith and Scott Crabbe and ex Hearts Physio Alan Rae. It is to their credit that all speakers and guests offered their services at no cost.
Reports on all General Meetings are available on our web site.
There have been eight meetings of the Committee during the Year.
At last year’s AGM Bill Alves was appointed Chairman and Sandra Alves was appointed Treasurer there being no other nominations and Craig Stewart’s co option on to the Committee was confirmed. Andy Grant was co opted on to the Committee during the year. There have been no resignations.
The Committee continues to have an excellent working relationship with Hearts Management Board and over and above the G10 meetings there is regular contact and opportunity to put our views forward. In addition the Committee is represented on the Hearts Youth Development Committee, The Remembrance Service Committee, The 1914 Memorial Trust and are consulted on matters concerning HMFC Charitable Trust (Big Hearts).
The Committee asked ten questions concerning the finances of the Club at the Club’s AGM and these were answered by Vitalijus Vasiliauskas,, Main Board Director, either at the AGM or at a meeting held after the AGM.
The Committee Members are due a huge debt of gratitude for accomplishing the mountain of work required in organising the General Meetings, AGM, and representing the Association on various Committees and with Hearts Management Board.
The current Committee is
Bill Alves Chairman
Derek Ormston Vice Chairman
Rab Currie Secretary
Sandra Alves Treasurer
Committee Members: Cheryl Currie, Andy Grant, Lisa Paterson, Graham Shaw, Ron Smart and Craig Stewart.
Thanks are also due to our Auditor of many years, Jim Robertson as well as the catering staff at Saltire Scotland, in particular, Graham, Christina and Jackie.
The Committee are delighted to advise that the Membership numbers have increased for the first time in a number of years. 327 subscriptions were collected this year against 303 last year.
During the year, as per the voted instructions from members at last Year’s AGM, £4500 was donated to Hearts Youth Development to pay for tripod equipment to enhance the Video Analysis equipment we purchased a number of years ago. A further £500 was donated to Hearts chosen charity, Erskine to help to develop a remembrance room at their home at Gilmerton.
The Committee would like to thank all members, old and new, for continuing to pay their subscriptions and attending the meetings.
Review of 2011