Ann Budge has admitted she had little option than to offer Hibs some restricted view tickets for next week’s Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle Park.
The Easter Road club expressed frustration that some of their allocation for the Roseburn Stand includes seats obscured by a temporary Sky television studio.
Budge, the Hearts owner, explained the situation today and stressed she had to look after her own supporters first. Sky’s studio was situated in Tynecastle’s Gorgie Stand for Sunday’s match with Celtic but will be switched to the opposite end for next Wednesday’s visit of Hibs.
“It couldn’t really be helped. We all know the media who choose the game require facilities,” said Budge, who is still working through some issues which have arisen since Hearts opened their new main stand last month.
“We do have what we hope is a permanent solution to this but it wasn’t in phase one [of Tynecastle’s redevelopment]. We put the studio in the Gorgie end at the Celtic game. We contacted all our season ticket holders and explained and we were able to move them [into the main stand].
“At the Hibs game, I didn’t really see why our supporters should lose out twice.
“The Hibs tickets hadn’t gone on sale at that point so we were able to put the studio there. There will be some seats lost. I’ve sat in all the seats and you can’t see the corner flag. A supporter may feel really bad about that.
“Hibs came down on Friday, had a look at the set-up and they know what’s required. There is frustration. If we were able to offer a studio without a pitch view it wouldn’t be an issue.”
Hibs withheld 600 tickets in the affected area before putting them on general sale this week. They have now sold out, with Budge explaining that the Easter Road chief executive Leeann Dempster was kept informed.
“We said: ‘Please don’t put these on sale till the studio is erected and see how many people are going to be affected.’ That was fine. I’ve spoken to Leeann a couple of times. It was then Hibs’ decision about how many they want to sell. They absolutely didn’t have to do it.”
Hearts hope to have a better arrangement in place when the Edinburgh clubs meet again at Tynecastle in the Scottish Cup next month.