HEARTS owner Ann Budge insists the Tynecastle club are willing to accept relegation from the Premiership if ‘that is what the community of football clubs believe is right’.

The Jambos chief executive has already confirmed they will vote against the SPFL board’s resolution, which would see them finish bottom of the top-flight if the remaining fixtures cannot be fulfilled.

After holding discussions with other clubs both in the Premiership and the Championship, she is confident the plans will not get the necessary support.

However, having previously stated her support for reconstruction proposals that would save the Gorgie outfit from dropping down to the second-tier, Budge has acknowledged they are at the mercy of their rivals as Scottish football tries to plot a way through the coronavirus pandemic.

The 72-year-old has vowed to take legal action to fight any ruling that demotes her club with eight games still to play.

But the businesswoman, who has been stung by criticism of her attempts to agree wage cuts with players and staff at Hearts, appears to be softening her stance after claiming they will ‘deal with relegation’ if that is what is agreed by others after careful consideration.

She said: “I’ve talked to a number of clubs in the Premiership and I’ve talked to a number of clubs in the Championship; I haven’t talked to League One and League Two clubs, because I haven’t got the ready contacts, if you like.

“And I don’t believe this will be supported.

“We are where we are, in the league position. If we argue everything through and everything is talked about, and basically that is what the community of football clubs believe is right, I’m not going to fight it to the death.

“How is that going to end?

“So, if we have to deal with relegation, we’ll deal with relegation.”

She added to SkySports: “But I do just keep coming back to the point of ‘who is it going to benefit?’.”