Hearts' Tynecastle Stadium exit a possibility - Ann Budge

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Interview - Ann Budge

Finances could eventually force Hearts to move from Tynecastle Stadium, owner Ann Budge has admitted.

The Edinburgh businesswoman has been speaking in depth for the first time since her summer takeover.

Budge explained that one of her priorities was to patch up parts of the stadium in a state of disrepair.

"But we've got to be realistic and it might be that it's a more cost-effective solution to actually move," she told BBC Scotland.

"Tynecastle does have something magical about it. If there was some way we could actually do something with the stand, it might be that that would be the better option and I know a lot of people would prefer to stay in Tynecastle.

Hearts owner Ann Budge
"Borrowing money for a particular capital programme you can understand, but running up debts that are prevalent in football is beyond my understanding really."

"But, right now, I have no idea what the answer is and I think I would hope that, by the end of my time here, at the very least, we will have a plan that's been properly evaluated through and try to choose the right one for the club."

Moving to a new stadium had been mooted by previous administrations because it was deemed difficult to expand at the present location near the city centre.

"It's been neglected for a long time," said Budge. "There's an awful lot needs to be doing to it.

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Interview: Hearts owner Ann Budge

"But what we're trying to do in the short term is anything to do with safety. That comes to the top of the list.

"But we're also trying to do some of the bigger jobs that have been neglected.

"If you look around now, you'll see we've replaced a lot of seats, we've started a job of painting, so we now have the Hearts colour that we'll try to be consistent about and we're moving round the stadium and addressing the worst parts."

Budge put up the £2.5m required to take the club out of administration after the collapse of previous owner Vladimir Romanov's financial empire.

She has vowed not to allow Hearts to "live beyond their means" again.

"We're doing what we can, within limits - we've got to be sensible about what we spend," said Budge.

"But, at the moment, we are trying to make the stadium as safe as we possibly can and do the obvious things to make it more pleasant to be in."

Budge says the financial models run by clubs in the past are not sustainable.

"There is a fundamental business rule that says you shouldn't be spending more than you bring in - it's not rocket science," she added.

Tynecastle Stadium
The future of Tynecastle was a debating point under previous regimes

"If you do that, you're going to end up with debts. Borrowing money for a particular capital programme you can understand, but running up debts that are prevalent in football is beyond my understanding really.

"That will not happen here - certainly not while I'm in charge.

"And I would love to think we could actually have a philosophy in place that says this is the way this club runs: we don't run up lots of debts."

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