Heart of Midlothian F.C.
|Full name||Heart of Midlothian Football Club|
|Director of Football||Craig Levein|
|Head coach||Robbie Neilson|
|2015–16||Scottish Premiership, 3rd|
|Website||Club home page|
Heart of Midlothian Football Club, commonly known as Hearts, is a Scottish professional football club based in Gorgie in the west of Edinburgh. It is currently the only Scottish Premiership club in the city, with Edinburgh derby rivals Hibernian playing in the Scottish Championship and Edinburgh City playing in Scottish League Two. Hearts is the oldest football club in the Scottish capital, having formed in 1874 by a group of friends from the Heart of Midlothian Quadrille Assembly Club (Dancing). The modern club crest is based on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the city's Royal Mile and the team's colours are predominantly maroon and white. Hearts play at Tynecastle Stadium, where home matches have been played since 1886. After renovating the ground into an all-seater stadium following the findings of the Taylor Report in 1990, the all-seated stadium originally had a capacity of 18,008, but over the years this has been reduced to roughly 17,000 to comply with UEFA regulations.
Hearts have won the Scottish league championship four times, most recently in 1959–60, where they also retained the Scottish League Cup to complete a League and League Cup double – the only club outside of the Old Firm to achieve such a feat. The club's 1957–58 league winning side, led up front by Jimmy Wardhaugh, Willie Bauld and Alfie Conn, Sr., who were affectionately known as The Terrible Trio, set the record for the number of goals scored in a league campaign (132) and became the only side to finish a season with a goal difference exceeding 100 (+103). Hearts have won the Scottish Cup eight times, most recently in 2012 after a 5–1 win over city-rivals Hibernian and the Scottish League Cup a total of four times, most recently in 1962 after a 1–0 victory against Kilmarnock. The most recent Scottish League Cup Final appearance was in 2013, when they lost to St Mirren 3–2, despite a double from Ryan Stevenson.
In 1958, Heart of Midlothian became the third Scottish and fifth British team to compete in European competition at the time. The club reached the quarter-finals of the 1988–89 UEFA Cup, narrowly losing out to Bayern Munich 2–1 on aggregate. More recently, Hearts were the first non-Old Firm team to achieve qualification to the UEFA Champions League in 2006.
- 1 History
- 2 Colours and badge
- 3 Stadium
- 4 Rivalry
- 5 Supporters and culture
- 6 Honours
- 7 Club records
- 8 Players
- 9 Club staff
- 10 Managers/First Team Coaches
- 11 Heart of Midlothian Women
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The club was formed by a group of friends from the Heart of Midlothian Quadrille Assembly Club. The group of friends bought a ball before playing local rules football at the Tron from where they were directed by a local policeman to the meadows to play. Local rules football was a mix of rugby and football as we know it. In December 1873 a match was held between XIs selected by Mr Thomson from Queens Park and Mr Gardner from Clydesdale at Raimes Park in Bonnington. This was the first time that Association rules had been seen in Edinburgh. Members from the dance club viewed the match and in 1874 decided to adopt the association rules. The new side was Heart of Mid-Lothian Football Club. The exact date of the club's formation was never recorded; however, 1874 is regarded as the year of formation as it was when association rules were taken on, although Tom Purdie claimed the club was formed in 1873. The earliest mention of Heart of Midlothian in a sporting context is a report in The Scotsman newspaper from 20 July 1864 of The Scotsman vs Heart of Mid-Lothian at cricket. It is not known if this was the same club who went on to form the football club, but it was common for football clubs in those days to play other sports as well.
Led by captain Tom Purdie the club played its matches in the East Meadows and in 1875 Hearts became members of the Scottish Football Association and were founder members of the Edinburgh Football Association. By becoming members of the Scottish Association Hearts were able to play in the Scottish Cup for the first time. Hearts played against 3rd Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers on October 1875 at Craigmount Park in Edinburgh. The game ended in a scoreless draw. A replay was held at the Meadows which again finished 0–0. Under rules at the time both clubs progressed to the next round with Hearts losing out to Drumpellier in the next round.
In the 1884–85 season, clubs in Scotland struggled to attract players, who were attracted to play in England, due to the games professional status there. After an 11–1 win in the Scottish Cup over Dunfermline a protest was raised against the club for fielding two professional players. Hearts were suspended by the SFA for two years as this was against the rules at the time. This was the first suspension of an SFA club. After a change of the clubs' committee the club was readmitted.
Hearts had considerable success in the early years of the Scottish Football League, winning the league championship in 1895 and 1896. They also won four Scottish Cups in a 15-year period from 1891 to 1906. The team played against Sunderland in the 1894–95 World Championship, but lost with s 5–3 score. Hearts did win the World Championship title in 1902, beating Tottenham Hotspur 3–1 in Tynecastle Park, after a 0–0 in London few month earlier.
Hearts in World War I
|“||Do not ask where Hearts are playing and then look at me askance. If it's football that you're wanting, you must come with us to France!||”|
This streak coincided with the start of the First World War and the beginnings of a public debate upon the morality of continuing professional football while young soldiers were dying on the front-line. A motion was placed before the Scottish Football Association to postpone the season, with one of its backers, Airdrieonians chairman Thomas Forsyth declaring that "playing football while our men are fighting is repugnant". While this motion was defeated at the ballot box, with the SFA opting to wait for War Office advice, the noted East London philanthropist Frederick Charrington was orchestrating a public campaign to have professional football in Britain suspended, and achieving great popular support for his cause. The prime tactic of Charrington's campaign was to shame football players and officials into action through public and private denouncement. In response, sixteen players from Hearts enlisted in Sir George McCrae's new volunteer battalion, joining en masse on 25 November 1914. The battalion was to become the 16th Royal Scots and was the first to earn the "footballer's battalion" sobriquet. The group of volunteers also contained some 500 Hearts supporters and ticket-holders, 150 followers of Hibernian and a number of professionals footballers from Raith Rovers, Falkirk and Dunfermline. Military training was thus added to the Hearts players football training regime, and the side had a 20-game unbeaten run between October and February. However, exhaustion from their army exertions, twice including 10-hour nocturnal-marches the night before a league game, eventually led to a drop in form, as several enlisted players missed key games. Defeats to St Mirren and Morton allowed Celtic to usurp the Maroons and eventually claim the league title by 4 points.
There are two war memorials to mark this period. The McCrae's Battalion Great War Memorial in Contalmaison and the Heart of Midlothian War Memorial in Haymarket, Edinburgh donated to the city by the club in 1922. The latter was placed in storage due to the Edinburgh Trams work but has now been replaced a little to the east of its previous position. A further memorial commemorating the 1914 Hearts team has been proposed by the club. An annual pilgrimage is held by football supporters to Contalmaison every year, whilst Hearts hold their memorial services at Haymarket or, whilst it was in storage, at Tynecastle Stadium.
The Tommy Walker era
The club went from 1906 to 1954 without winning a major trophy before enjoying a decade of success between 1954 and 1963. Under the management of Tommy Walker, Hearts won the League twice, in 1958, with a record 62 points and 132 goals scored (Still the Scottish 'Top' League Record) and only 29 against in 34 matches, and in 1960. Hearts also won the Scottish Cup in 1956 and the Scottish League Cup four times, in 1954, 1958, 1959 and 1962. This glorious period for the club contained many top, now legendary, names such as Alfie Conn, Sr., Willie Bauld, Jimmy Wardhaugh (the Terrible Trio), John Cumming, Dave Mackay and Alex Young. In 1964–65 Hearts lost 2–0 to Kilmarnock on the last day of the season to lose the league title to them on goal average. Subsequently Hearts were instrumental in pushing through a change to use goal difference to separate teams level on points, which ironically was to disadvantage the club in 1985–86.
Latter 20th century
From the mid-1960s, Hearts went into decline. The players of greatest note in the 1970s were Jim Cruickshank, Donald Ford and Drew Busby, not to forget the loyal servant Alan Anderson. After the advent of the ten team Premier Division in 1975, Hearts were subsequently relegated for the first time in 1977. Promotion followed in 1978, but several seasons were spent yo-yoing back and forth from the Premier League to the First Division. The major problem for Hearts at this time was an antiquated company structure which was a massive disincentive to anyone to invest in the club. The board of directors finally resigned after Hearts failed to regain their Premier Division status.
The arrival of chairman Wallace Mercer led to a revival in the club's fortunes. The club came within 7 minutes of winning the league in 1986, needing a draw from the last game of the season away to Dundee. Two late goals by Albert Kidd combined with Celtic winning heavily against St Mirren meant Hearts losing out on goal difference. Hearts finished runners-up again in 1988 and 1992.
In the early 1990s, the club struggled to settle on a manager. Within a two-year period, Joe Jordan, Sandy Clark and Tommy McLean were all sacked. One of the few bright points in this period was the run of 22 games in a row without defeat against arch-rivals Hibernian, including the 2–1 triumph in the fourth round of the 1994 Tennents Scottish Cup at Easter Road, with Wayne Foster grabbing the late winner.
In 1998, Hearts beat Rangers 2–1 to lift the Scottish Cup under the management of Jim Jefferies, with a first-minute penalty from Colin Cameron and a second-half strike by Stephane Adam.
Into the 21st century
In recent seasons, Hearts have usually been competing for third place in the Scottish Premier League. They finished third in 2003 and 2004, and reached the inaugural group stages of the UEFA Cup in 2004–05, but finished bottom of their group, despite Robbie Neilson's goal giving a 2–1 victory over FC Basel. During the 2004–05 season, they finished fifth in the league.
In 2004, then club CEO Chris Robinson announced plans to sell Tynecastle, which he claimed was "not fit for purpose", and instead have Hearts rent Murrayfield from the Scottish Rugby Union. This move was deemed necessary due to the club's increasingly large debt. The plan was very unpopular with supporters, and a campaign, entitled Save Our Hearts, was set up to try to block the move. As Robinson and his supporters had a slight majority of the club's shares, a preliminary deal to sell the stadium was struck with the Cala property development company for just over £20 million.
In the midst of Hearts' financial difficulties in August 2004, Russian-Lithuanian multi-millionaire Vladimir Romanov entered into talks to take over Hearts in what was dubbed the "Romanov Revolution". Romanov had already made failed attempts to purchase Dundee United, Dundee and Dunfermline. Romanov offered the prospect of the club staying at a redeveloped Tynecastle, which was very attractive to Hearts supporters. At the end September 2004 Chris Robinson agreed to sell his 19.6% stake to Romanov. Romanov called an extraordinary general meeting in January 2005 so that the club could pass a motion to exercise the escape clause in the deal with Cala Homes. The backing of Leslie Deans and the McGrail brothers meant that the motion was passed with over 70% support. The sale of Robinson's shares was completed on 2 February 2005 after Romanov made financial guarantees that the club could continue to trade without selling Tynecastle. This sale increased Romanov's stake to 29.9%, giving him effective control of the club. Romanov's takeover was welcomed by a fans' representative. Romanov increased his shareholding in Hearts to 55.5% on 21 October 2005, and offered to buy the rest of the shares. chairman George Foulkes sold his shares to Romanov and encouraged others to do likewise. Romanov eventually increased his majority share in Hearts to 82%.
Romanov's management of the club's debt became a cause for concern. During his takeover Romanov pledged to eradicate the club's debt. Soon after the takeover was completed, the debt was transferred from HBOS and SMG to the financial institutions controlled by Romanov, Ūkio bankas and UBIG. At the end of July 2007 the club were £36M in debt. On 7 July 2008, Hearts issued a statement that stated the club would issue debt for equity to reduce the debt by £12M. a further issue was completed in 2010. Since the takeover Hearts have failed to pay players wages on time on several occasions, and been threatened with administration twice due to failure to pay an outstanding tax bills with the bill finally being settled in August 2011. Results released for financial year ending 31 July 2010 showed that Hearts had made a small profit for the first time since 1999 although were still heavily in debt.
Hearts' first manager of the Romanov era was George Burley, who was appointed during close season by new chief executive Phil Anderton, who replaced Chris Robinson as chief executive. With their new manager and signings, Hearts got off to a tremendous start in the 2005–06 season. The team won their first eight league matches, equalling a club record set in 1914. Romanov shocked Scottish football by sacking George Burley on the following day whilst Hearts were sitting top of the SPL table; Hearts ultimately finished second. Hearts fans were led to expect a "top class manager" would replace Burley. Kevin Keegan, Bobby Robson, Claudio Ranieri and Ottmar Hitzfeld were all linked with the vacancy. Anderton, who had been making the approaches for these coaches, was sacked by Romanov on 31 October 2005. Foulkes, who had helped to bring Romanov to the club in the first place, resigned in protest at Anderton's dismissal. Romanov replaced both of them with his son, Roman Romanov. This has proved to be a feature of his time at the club with him going through nine permanent managers in seven years. The most recent managerial change came on 1 August 2011 when Jim Jefferies was sacked during his second spell at the club and replaced by former Sporting CP boss Paulo Sérgio.
Romanov stated that his ultimate aim is for Hearts to win the Champions League. Hearts competed in the Champions League during season 2006–07 but progressed only as far the second qualifying round before dropping down to the UEFA Cup. Since then Hearts have been unable to split the Old Firm for a second time to earn a Champions League place. In recent season Hearts target has been to finish third or above in the SPL.
Romanov also owns the Lithuanian club FBK Kaunas and Belarusian club FC Partizan Minsk. Several players have been loaned by FBK Kaunas to Hearts since Romanov acquired control of the club.
The club began experiencing severe financial problems in November 2011, which meant they were unable to pay the players' wages, and the club was put up for sale. The squad's October salaries were late and the November wages were paid twenty-nine days late, just one day before their December salaries were due. The December pay failed to arrive on time, and a complaint was lodged with the Scottish Premier League by the players' union. During this period the club advised fringe players they were free to leave the club. On 4 January 2012 the SPL ordered Hearts to pay all outstanding wages by 11 January 2012 and insisted that January's wages had to be paid on time on 16 January. Hearts paid all outstanding wages that day following the sale of Eggert Jónsson to Wolves. On 17 January, the day after Hearts' wages were due to be paid, it was revealed all players had been paid. Despite this, the SPL issued a statement saying Hearts had failed to pay all players on 16 January and an emergency board meeting had been called; Hearts refuted this, saying payment of the remuneration had been made to all players. On 7 November 2012, Hearts were issued with a winding-up order by the Court of Session in Edinburgh after failing to pay a tax bill on time.
In early June 2013, during the close season, a Hearts media statement stated that they would need to raise £500,000 in capital to keep the club up and running during the break between seasons. With no match day income coming in and a lack of finance from owner Romanov, the club have been left in a position where they have had to put their whole squad up for sale.
On 18 June 2013, a Scandinavian consortium offered to pay the club £500,000 immediately in return for a share of any future transfer income from up to 12 players but was rejected by Hearts. The process of entering administration began on 19 June 2013 when the club's parent company, Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG), filed papers at the Court of Session on Edinburgh for accountancy firm BDO to be named as administrators.
On 17 June 2013 Hearts announced that they had lodged court papers stating their intention to enter administration, and on 19 June 2013 the administrators BDO were appointed to run the club. This meant that the club was unable to register players over 21 until February 2014 at the earliest. As long as they were still in administration they would not be able to bring in players of any age.
As well as the signing embargo, Hearts were to be deducted a third of the previous season's points tally which meant the club would start the 2013/2014 season with −15 points. During this period the BDO administrator Trevor Birch pleaded with Hearts fans to purchase season tickets and stated that they needed to sell at least another 3000 season tickets to raise another £800,000 to keep the club running and avoiding liquidation. The fans met this number and took total season ticket sales beyond the 10,000 mark, giving the club more survival time. A deadline of 12 July 2013 was set for interested parties to put in formal bids for the club, there were three bids entered for the club which were received from the supporters group "The Foundation of Hearts" the second was from a new company called "HMFC limited" which was backed by American firm Club Sports 9 and former Livingston FC owner Angelo Massone's through Five Star Football Limited.
On 15 August 2013, "The Foundation of Hearts" were given preferred bidders status to make a CVA with Hearts' creditors. The money that the foundation is using to purchase the club is coming from monthly donations from fans and it is likely that the foundation will receive an interest-free loan from a wealthy fan, which will be paid back using the monthly direct debts from the fans. On 2 December, Hearts' creditors agreed to the CVA deal proposed by "The Foundation of Hearts".
The club's relegation from the Scottish Premiership was confirmed on 5 April 2014. Hearts won 4–2 away to Partick Thistle, but St Mirren beat Motherwell 3–2, making it impossible for Hearts to catch up.
On Monday 12 May 2014, The Ann Budge fronted Bidco 1874 took control of Heart of Midlothian Plc, Budge who fronted and financed the Bidco 1874 group which have taken over the reigns at the club became an unpaid executive chairwoman of the club. The Bidco group plan to hold the club for a possible five years before the fans backed Foundation of Hearts supporters group take control. The Foundation put in £1 million for the running of the club until the final legal exit of administration. The Foundation will then need to pay a further £2.6 million (£2.5m to cover the loan given by Bidco1874 Ltd to Hearts to finance the Creditors' Voluntary Agreement + £100,000 for the shares) to take 75% of the shares in the club and with that the running and decision making within the club. In addition, the Foundation has also committed itself to provide a further £2.8m (£1.4m per year for two years) working capital for the club. Funding for the deal comes from 8000+ people donating cash via a monthly direct debit.
Hearts earned an immediate return to the Scottish Premiership by clinching the 2014–15 Scottish Championship title with seven games remaining. Hearts remained undefeated for the first 20 league matches before a 3–2 home defeat to Falkirk ended that run. They won the title in impressive style winning 29 of 36 games, scoring 96 goals, conceding just 26 goals with a points total of 91. They finished the season 21 points ahead nearest challengers city-rivals Hibernian and 24 points ahead of third placed Rangers. The season included handing Cowdenbeath a joint club record defeat 10–0. At the PFA Scotland Awards, Hearts had six players named in Championship Team of the Year, two Young Player of the Year nominees, three Championship Player of the Year nominees, and Neilson shortlisted for Manager of the Year. Although the respective winners were Jason Denayer (Celtic), Scott Allan (Hibernian) and John Hughes (Inverness CT).
Colours and badge
The original Hearts football strip was all white shirts and trousers with maroon trimmings, and a heart sewn onto the chest. For one season they played in red, white and blue stripes. These were the colours of a club called St. Andrew, who had taken their name and colours from the University of St Andrews, that Hearts had absorbed. Since then the predominant club colours have been maroon and white. The strip typically has a maroon top and a white collar, although the strip was predominantly white in the 2010–11 season. The shorts are normally white, although maroon was used in the 2008–09 season. The socks are normally maroon with some white detail.
For the 2014–2015 season the club chose to commemorate 100 years since McCrae's Battalion with not only a commemorative strip, of maroon shirt, white shorts and black socks, but with a commemorative badge as well. The club chose to have no sponsor on the home top as a mark of respect to those who had joined the regiment.
The all-seated 17,529-capacity Tynecastle Stadium in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh has been the club's home since 1886. Tynecastle Stadium has hosted nine full Scotland international matches, although only two of these games occurred after the Second World War
Many Hearts supporters ask why Hearts named their ground Tynecastle. The answer is after the Tynecastle Tollhouse at the entrance to the grounds of Merchiston. More details can be read in "The Definitive History of the Heart of Midlothian Football Club" by Alex H. Knight, Club Archivist.
Hearts have a traditional local rivalry in Edinburgh with Hibs; the Edinburgh derby match between the two clubs is one of the oldest rivalries in world football. Graham Spiers has described it as "one of the jewels of the Scottish game". The clubs first met on Christmas Day 1875, when Hearts won 1–0, in the first match ever contested by Hibs. The two clubs became pre-eminent in Edinburgh after a five-game struggle for the Edinburgh Football Association Cup in 1878, which Hearts finally won with a 3–2 victory after four successive draws. The clubs have met twice in a Cup Final, in the 1896 Scottish Cup Final, which Hearts won 3–1 and the 2012 Scottish Cup Final which Hearts won 5–1. The 1896 final is also notable for being the only Scottish Cup Final to be played outside Glasgow.
Hearts have the better record in derbies, with 273 wins to 198 in 615 matches. Approximately half of all derbies have been played in local competitions and friendlies. Hibs recorded their biggest derby win in a competitive match when they won 7–0 at Tynecastle on New Year's Day 1973. The largest win was a 10–2 Hearts victory in a match 12 August 1893.
While it has been noted that religious background lies behind the rivalry, that aspect is "muted" and is a "pale reflection" of the sectarianism in Glasgow. Although the clubs are inescapable rivals, the rivalry is mainly "good-natured" and has had beneficial effects. Fans of the two teams would mingle at Edinburgh derbies before segregation of supporters was imposed, while mixed families are commonplace.
Supporters and culture
Heart of Midlothian is one of two professional football clubs in Edinburgh, the capital and second largest city in Scotland. Hearts' average attendance by supporters during the 2014–15 season was just short of 16,000. This was comfortably the third highest figure in the country, ahead of clubs like Aberdeen, Dundee United and city-rivals Hibernian, and only behind Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers. Important matches, particularly the Edinburgh derby, European fixtures and games against the Old Firm, always see Tynecastle at or very close to full capacity.
The Hearts Song was written and performed by Scottish comedian Hector Nicol, a St Mirren fan. The more modern Hearts Song is performed by "Colin Chisholm & The Glasgow Branch". It is played before every match at Tynecastle.
- Scottish Premiership (1890–present):
- Scottish Cup (1874–present):
- Scottish League Cup (1947–present):
- Scottish Championship (1893–present):
- Edinburgh Football League (1894–1896):
- Champions (2): 1894–95, 1895–96
- East of Scotland Football League (1896–1907):
- Champions (7): 1896–97, 1897–98, 1898–99, 1899–00, 1903–04, 1904–05, 1905–06
- Inter City Football League (1899–1904):
- Champions (2): 1901–02, 1902–03
- Festival Cup (2003–2004):
- Winners (2): 2003, 2004
- Highest record home attendance: 53,396 vs Rangers, Scottish Cup 3rd round, 13 February 1932
- Highest average home attendance: 28,195, 1948–49 season (15 games)
- Single game
- Biggest defeat: 1–8 vs Vale of Leven, Scottish Cup, 1888
- Biggest win: 21–0 vs Anchor, EFA Cup, 1880
- Caps and appearances
- Most capped players: Steven Pressley, 32 (for Scotland)
- Youngest Competitive player: Scott Robinson made his debut aged 16 years, 1-month and 14 days old.
- Most appearances: Gary Mackay, 640 (515 L, 58 SC, 46 LC, 21 E) 1980 – 1997
- Most league appearances: Gary Mackay, 515
- Most honours: John Cumming, 2 league titles, 1 Scottish Cup, 4 League Cups, 1954–1962
- Most league goals: John Robertson, 214, 1983–1998
- Most goals in a season: Barney Battles, 44
- Highest transfer fee paid: Mirsad Bešlija, £850,000, Racing Genk, 2006
- Highest transfer fee received: £9m for Craig Gordon from Sunderland in 2007 (British record fee ever paid for a goalkeeper at the time)
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- For recent transfers, see List of Scottish football transfers summer 2016.
Development and under-20s squad
For more information on reserves and under-20s, see Heart of Midlothian F.C. Reserve and Youth squads
|Managing Director||Scot Gardiner|
|Operations Director||Eric Hogg|
|Head Coach||Robbie Neilson|
|Assistant Coach||Stevie Crawford|
|Director of Football||Craig Levein|
|Under 20 Coach||Jon Daly|
|Under 17 Coach||John Robertson|
|Team Doctor||Ivan Brenkel|
Managers/First Team Coaches
Heart of Midlothian Women
In 2009 Hearts took over Musselburgh Windsor Ladies Football Club and they became Heart of Midlothian Women's FC. They currently play in the Scottish Women's First Division. Their current captain is former Scotland Women's youth player Kim Borthwick.
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