The 30-year-old striker became a fan favourite at Tynecastle after scoring 19 goals last season, and recently scored the winning goal in the 1-0 victory at home to Premiership champions Celtic.
However, when Rangers came calling for Lafferty, it seems his head was turned, and Budge has explained she had no choice but to deal with the Ibrox side.
Speaking via the official Hearts website, Budge explained to supporters: “It is no secret that this has been a particularly difficult and drawn-out affair.
“While we have no desire to sell our players to other teams in the league, when a player has his mind fully set on moving, it is difficult to reach an alternative conclusion.
“The deal, when completed, will suit all parties and, importantly, will allow Craig to focus his efforts on finalising potential deals to add to his playing squad – having brought in 13 players already this summer – and preparing the team for their Ladbrokes Premiership match at Kilmarnock, where they will bid to go eight games unbeaten.
“It will also allow me to return my attentions to progressing the development of our new, multi-million pound Main Stand and improving the matchday experience for our supporters.”
Lafferty returns to Rangers for the second time in his career on a two-year contract, and will go straight into the Gers’ squad to face Russian side FC Ufa in the Europa League playoff round tomorrow evening.
Hearts, meanwhile, will probably turn their attentions back towards the transfer market as they search for a late replacement for Lafferty – but what do you make of Budge’s comments?