The pain of losing in the Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final to Inverness Caledonian Thistle will not have lingered for Hearts fans.

Less than 24 hours after the defeat, they learned that Foundation of Hearts, a coalition of supporters groups, had taken a significant step towards owning the club and moving Heart of Midlothian Football Club plc out of administration.

There are still obstacles to overcome, but in six to eight weeks Hearts could become the largest and most high-profile Scottish club to be owned by its own fans. The way that the community rallied round when administration struck last year was heartening, and the financial and emotional commitment has been sustained.

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More than 7600 fans contribute monthly donations to provide funding, and they will soon be rewarded with ownership.

It is always the fans who are left to bail out clubs that overspend but Hearts supporters saw this as an opportunity to take control and so shape their team's future.

That is more important than even a cup final place, and it shows other clubs what can be achieved.