Hibs chief executive Leeann Demspter has told disgruntled fans there will be no reduction in season ticket prices although she’s admitted sales have dried up in the wake of the club’s relegation to the Championship.
The vast majority of the 5400 sold so far had gone before the traumatic play-off loss to Hamilton with only a few hundred having been bought since but, Demspter insisted, to give fans a refund of £50 as has been suggested would lop £250,000 off head coach Stubbs’ budget at a time when Hibs desperately need to be competive with Capital rivals Hearts – who have sold 8000 season tickets in less than three weeks – and Rangers if they are to have any chance of gaining immediate promotion.
Arguing that while Hibs prices are higher than the vast majority of Championship clubs they are in line, or less than, their biggest rivals, the Easter Road club’s top price being £405 while Hearts are asking £450 and Rangers £495 for their best seats, Dempster accepted her decision won’t be met with universal approval but insisted: “A small number of fans – I would say around five per cent – have been in touch seeking a refund, with the figure of £50 the most quoted.
“Simple arithmetic shows that if this were to happen and if the majority of supporters decided to take it up it would equate to having to take about £250,000 out of the budget available to the head coach at a time when we need to be investing to fight our way out of the most competitive Championship ever.
“To maximise our chances of heading straight back up, I have decided that the best course of action is to leave prices as they are. If we are to compete with our rivals in this league, every ticket and every penny spent become crucial.”
Dempster will, however, investigate, via the Working Together group, how those buying season tickets at this difficult time can be rewarded in future.