Charlie Reid: Hibs fans must work together to reach HSL goal

Like everyone else I had mixed feelings on hearing the news that the club had been bought over. I was delighted to hear about the very welcome investment in the club, it’s been badly needed for years. On the other hand, I was very disappointed when I realised that HSL had fallen short on our principle aim of achieving a 25.1 per cent ownership stake.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 7:00 am
Founding directors of Hibernian Supporters Ltd pictured at Easter Road in 2015. (L/R) Gordon Smith, MSP for Edinburgh Eastern Kenny MacAskill, Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster, Charlie Reid, Stephen Dunn and Jim Adie. Picture: SNS

I too believe, and continue to believe, that buying collectively allows for greater security from issues that have affected the club in the past, when the actions of an owner are far from benign.

Having met Ron Gordon, and heard about his passion for the club, it might seem strange to immediately be talking with what some may consider a pessimistic view, but we have to be accurate when talking about such matters. I’m sure as he hears more about our history he will understand why some supporters are fearful of change.

While some things have changed as a result of the acquisition, most have not. I know that the members of HSL want two main things. First to help our team and secondly to protect our club and home. To do that costs money. If you want to protect your house from unforeseen events, you take out home insurance. It’s no good, however, just paying the first year’s premium. Ownership carries with it responsibility, and if you want to protect your home going forward you pay the monthly insurance premium.

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I see no reason why our fellow shareholders will not want to join the collective that is HSL. We need to remind everyone that 33 per cent only adds up if everyone votes. If we the supporters really want to have a 25.1 per cent stake in our club, that will be exercised, it is for us to organise ourselves accordingly. Why on earth should we look to Mr Gordon to give up any of his shares that he has recently bought. He has confirmed he is entirely happy with his 67 per cent ownership.

If we the supporters work together this is a wonderful opportunity for Hibs to once again be pioneers. We can show how we the supporters can work hand in hand with private investment for the common good.

l Charlie Reid is a former director of HSL.