Five years ago today Hearts rose from the flames of administration, bringing in a new chapter in Hearts’ history books. Ann Budge was the woman to take control of Hearts on the 11th of June 2014.
There have been plenty of changes over those five years, but what exactly has happened in the five years following this landmark day?
Hearts are going through a lull on the park
One of her first moves was getting current boss Craig Levein in as Director of Football. Robbie Neilson was then promoted from coach within the Jambos youth system to Tynecastle manager.
Having gone down to the Championship following their administration spell, the Gorgie side bounced straight back. With experienced signings like Morgaro Gomis and Neil Alexander, and Premiership quality talent in Osman Sow, the Jambos won the Championship during the 2014/15 season.
They brushed Rangers and city rivals Hibs aside to reach the promised land of Premiership football, where Neilson delivered Europa League football and a third place finish. For a team that nearly ceased to exist just two years previous, that is an outstanding feat.
It was as good as has been in recent times league wise for Hearts when the current Dundee United manager departed in November 2016. He left them in second place and in the seemingly capable hands of Ian Cathro.
He was sacked in August 2017 after an embarrassing eight months in charge. Levein stepped up to the plate to take over as Jambos boss for a second time and the football hasn’t got much better since.
The current maroon boss has went through players like nobody’s business, but there have been positives. The youth academy at the club is booming with talent. Harry Cochrane, Callumn Morrison and Aaron Hickey are just some of the top Jambo talent at the club right now.
Its been two disappointing seasons overall though, finishing sixth in 2017/18 and the same again during 18/19. If it weren’t for the spilt, the Jambos would have been bottom six in the latter.
Budge is making strides away from the pitch
Tynecastle’s new main stand is the highlight of Budge’s tenure. It has had its problems but overall it has done a brilliant job of bringing Tynecastle into the modern era.
A new hybrid pitch was installed just before the start of 18/19. With 11,500 season tickets sold already for next term, the Gorgie support seems as strong as ever.
Budge’s next goal will be to shift full control over to the Foundation of Hearts. Their aim is to the run the club for the fans of the Tynecastle team.
Hearts are a historic part of Scottish football and they should never, ever, have to deal with the possibility of ceasing to exist.