HIBS winger Ivan Sproule today insisted that he hopes rivals Hearts survive their latest financial crisis.
The Tynecastle club voiced fears last week that today’s clash with St Mirren could be their last because of a £2million black hole in their budget.
While they seem to have staved off any immediate threat, the club is relying on supporters taking up their shares offer to see them through to the end of the season.
However, Irishman Sproule believes that his own side would lose out massively if they suddenly erased the Edinburgh derby from the fixtures list.
Sproule, who has been involved in some fiery clashes with Hearts, loves the build-up to the big games and hopes that there are many more to come.
He said: “It’s like Celtic and Rangers – you need your rivals. I personally enjoy the Hearts and Hibs rivalry, I enjoy playing in the big games, I enjoy the atmosphere.
“Anyone who tries to tell you they don’t want that to continue is fooling themselves.
“I hope Hearts can get their feet back on the ground. There seems to be a few consortiums and people putting in a lot of hard work. I wouldn’t like to see something like that
happen to Hibs so I certainly don’t want to see it happen to another club.”
While Hearts have struggled on and off the pitch this season, Hibs are going through a revival and sit two points clear of Celtic at the top of the table.
Sproule says that it is important the club hangs on to the likes of Leigh Griffiths, Ryan McGivern and Jorge Claros if they are to maintain that kind of form.
“I think they all want to stay, they all want to be part of it,” he said. “For me that’s a big thing for a player, so I’m sure the chairman and the gaffer will be doing their utmost to make that happen.
“Everybody is crying out for it, every man and his dog, every past player, even the media. People want to see Sparky
staying at the club.
“And I think for Sparky as a player, this is the best place for him at this minute in time, for him to stay for the rest of the season.”