Hearts owner Budge believes money spent on improved security will be worthwhile
Hearts owner Ann Budge is hoping the £100,000 forked out on CCTV at Tynecastle this summer is money well spent.
Following a series of incidents during the 2-1 win for Hibernian at the stadium in April, including the discharging of pyrotechnics and the throwing of coins, the lower section G of the Wheatfield Stand was closed for the final two league games of the campaign.
The businesswoman, who is also the chief executive and chairwoman of the Gorgie club, was speaking after being named as the 2019 winner of the Edinburgh Award, an honour in recognition of her business success and community work, and for her services to sport in the city.
Budge told Radio Clyde that there had been a positive reaction to the drive for good behaviour but that it has to continue.
She said: “I am pleased that we have made headway but we have more to do.
“One of the things that I am most pleased about, is that our supporters are beginning to use our help line, our reporting line.
“We’ve seen that being used a number of times last season. Also when some fans have started to sing something inappropriate, they have been booed down. So the self-policing is hugely important.
“We can do everything we can to try to prevent it and we continue to do more. We have stand managers who are employed by the club, over and above the police and other stewards.
“We have spent over £100,000 in the close season putting in CCTV.
“I would love to spend that £100,000 on something else but if that actually helps us achieve the objective of making this a family-friendly stadium, then it is £100,000 worth spending.
“The police, the stewards, ourselves, the supporters; we all have to do our thing if we really want to stamp that out. I think we can but we all have to pull together.”
Budge would also have no qualms in putting her hand in her pocket to help pay for the introduction of VAR into Scottish football.
She said: “There are many meetings going on at the moment. I am involved in one of the working groups.
“One of the things that has been talked about in the Women’s World Cup is the way it is being used and interpreted. There has to be clarity over what it is being used for and how it is being used.
“All of that takes time but yes, I do think we have to keep going down that route.
“It is a lot of money as far as I understand although that is still being investigated.
“But if the clubs have to put something into it then as far as I am concerned I would be supportive of that although clearly there are other ways of funding it. We have to see what comes out.”