Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has made a personal plea to fans to support his bid to rebuild his Easter Road squad amid a “summer of change” for Scottish football by buying season tickets.
Already facing a second year of loss-making, Hibs will take a further £250,000 “hit” over the coming season through their decision, with others, to deny a new Rangers a place in the SPL.
And Fenlon, working feverishly to attract new talent to the club, insisted supporters can play their part in seeing his plans come to fruition, revealing there are 2500 season ticket holders from last season who have yet to renew.
Thanking those who had already invested in a season ticket, Fenlon said: “So far this summer we’ve managed to get one of my top signing targets over the line with the arrival of Tim Clancy. But there is much more left to do on the transfer front and now we need the backing of our supporters more than ever.
“Do we have ambition? Yes, absolutely. Do we have a war chest of money to spend on players? No. But we do plan to use our funds wisely to assemble a squad that is more than competitive next season. The funding provided by season ticket members will go a long way to changing the dynamics of our squad.
“We are a club that tries to do things the right way. We don’t spend money that we don’t have. Given the uncertainty surrounding the SPL for next season, we certainly can’t spend what we don’t have and simply cross our fingers in hope that it will come later.
“My budget for next season is based on season tickets actually sold, not what we might sell. I know that I will get access to every single penny that comes into the club through new season tickets. So the commitment and faith of our supporters will determine just how much I have to spend on players ahead of the new season.
“We hope that the 2500 season ticket members from last season, who have still yet to commit, will renew in good time and we would welcome them back. I know there are lots of seats at Easter Road, but we cannot make binding commitments to players hoping there will be a decent walk up [crowd].”
Fenlon acknowledged Hibs supporters have suffered “some hard times,” but claimed the club were confident about what can be achieved as they go about their business “professionally and with integrity.”
However, he insisted fans will have a massive say on helping meet that goal. He said: “Please don’t wait to see what will happen or who we will sign. You can make an immediate impact on my transfer budget by investing now in a season ticket.”
And he outlined his vision of the squad he intends building, saying: “We no longer want to be seen as a soft touch. We want players wearing the Hibernian jersey who are willing to give everything to the club and that excites our supporters.
“We want strong-minded players, showing the right attitude and application, representing the club the right way and connecting with the Easter Road crowd.”