Foundation of Hearts increased its donation to Heart of Midlothian Football Club by more than £100,000 despite a small decrease in the number of members pledging.

The organisation has released its financial accounts for the year ahead of next month's AGM. FOH handed over £1.627million in donations to the club, an increase from the £1.525million which was passed across 12 months previously. Recently, the club's majority shareholder celebrated hitting the £16million in funds raised

Membership fell by 178 as of October compared to 12 months ago. Pledger numbers were 8,556, down from 8,734, in a year where the country encountered a cost of living crisis and Hearts fans had European trips to pay for. 

READ MORE: Exclusive: What next for Foundation of Hearts: Pledge target, board changes, fan opinion

"One thing that remained consistent over the season has been the unwavering support of the owners of the club," FOH chairman Gerry Mallon wrote in his report. "Pledges to the Foundation of Hearts remained at a rock solid level as members demonstrated their unswerving loyalty to the cause of HMFC.

"The Foundation of Hearts continued to receive a high level of member donations, and undeterred by the expense of European travel and cost of living crisis, the relentless support of Foundation members allowed continued investment in the club."

The past year has also seen the number of members to receive plot certificates eclipse 4,000 with Garry Halliday, director of members' affairs, delivering nine plot ceremonies for over 500 pledgers.

In recent months the club board has been the focus of criticism from sections of the Hearts support with banners held up during the Viaplay Cup victory at Rugby Park in September. Mallon and fellow Foundation board member Donald Cumming are the organisation's representatives on the club board.

Mallon noted his and the FOH's confidence in the club board and management.

"As the largest fan owned club in the UK, we have stayed close to the activities of the club and its board, via our two nominated directors," he said. "As the largest shareholder of Heart of Midlothian, and as a club which is 'fan owned, not fan run' it is critically important that we remain confident in the capability of the club board and its strategy. I am pleased to say that we remain confident that the club board and management are developing it in a way which is conducive both to the success on the pitch, but also long term financial stability, and with responsibility towards our communities."

READ MORE: Foundation of Hearts chief on protests and board decision making

Cumming will be replaced as the second FOH representative on the club board when he steps down after at the AGM following nine years service with the organisation - the maximum term - with fellow FOH board member Andrew Brown nominated to fill his spot on the Hearts board. Cumming played a pivotal role in helping the Foundation take on the majority shareholding. 

"I want to pay tribute to Donald, who for many years has gone above and beyond the call of duty in his unstinting work in service of Heart of Midlothian," Mallon said.

"Donald has been the quiet and diligent brain behind the Foundation. His contributions in legal and governance matters for the Foundation of Hearts and the club have provided a structural bedrock of how we conduct our affairs.

"Donald's calm and wise counsel and thoughtful efforts have helped ensure that both organisations are built in a stable and resilient way, to give pride and pleasure for generations of supporters to come."

Cumming will be replaced on the Foundation board by either Euan Tripp or Gary Cowen KC. Hearts Standard recently spoke to both candidates. Members received ballots to select their preferred candidate ahead of the AGM in December. 

Paul Cheshire is also standing for re-election.

Last month Mallon told Hearts Standard of the Foundation's ambitions. There is a desire to increase the number of pledgers to 15,000 in the year the club celebrates its 150th anniversary while increasing the yearly donation to the club to more than £2million.

In his chairman's report he said the organisation's board has been "working to redevelop our strategy and vision for the future" while making it "easier to introduce a new generation of Hearts fans" to the Foundation's cause.

The Foundation of Hearts AGM will take place in the Gorgie Suite at 6pm on Thursday, December 14. 

Mallon, in a letter to members, said the "is an opportunity for members to express their views directly with the board, and I hope you will take the opportunity to do so". Time will be set aside for members' questions. To submit a question in advance, you can write to the FOH at c/o Heart of Midlothian FC, Gorgie Road, Edinburgh EH11 2NL or email

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