Hibs have claimed “hundreds” of supporters have answered chairman Rod Petrie’s plea to back manager Pat Fenlon’s major rebuild of his Easter Road squad by buying season tickets.
Petrie made his appeal in the wake of the meltdown at Ibrox which saw Rangers demoted to the Third Division, a situation which, he revealed, had left an element of Hibs’ budget under threat.
Hibs were one of the first clubs to disclose they would oppose Rangers remaining in the SPL although well aware such a stance – which reflected the wishes of their fans – would bring financial consequences to all clubs. However, Petrie insisted the Edinburgh outfit were “in many ways” in a worse position than others because of the significant rebuilding job facing Fenlon.
Although reaching the Scottish Cup final had helped Hibs seal a significant number of season tickets – sales at that point said to be around 7000 – Petrie estimated 2000 supporters from last season had failed to renew, while he believed the disappointments of the past two years had resulted in some 3000 “lapsed” season ticket holders. As part of the club’s drive to persuade those who hadn’t committed, a group of volunteer fans embarked on a three-day effort to contact as many of the non-renewing season ticket holders as possible under the “Let’s Work Together” banner, the initiative also helping gather feedback from supporters.
Although no specific numbers were disclosed, in thanking those supporters who had bought a season ticket, Hibs
included the “hundreds who have renewed” since Petrie’s appeal.
Petrie said: “We are grateful to all supporters who, in these difficult times, have committed to help the manager in this vital pre- and early-season period as he seeks to build a new and improved squad for the season ahead.
“We know not every fan can make the commitment, and every fan who attends Easter Road or buys from the club store deserves our thanks, but season tickets play a unique role, providing an early certainty of income that allows us to shape the squad.
“We can only spend what we know we can afford and season ticket sales are a big part of that.”
Praising those supporters who had given up their own time to promote the “Let’s Work Together” move, Petrie added: “We will not be able to call all of the supporters, but the response to the initiative has been positive.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Sam Stanton has been named in the Scotland Under-19 squad which will face Germany in a friendly match at Falkirk on August 14.