Hibs clarify Ben Kensell 'blue side of Glasgow' comments as CEO hits out at whistleblower
Hibs have moved to clarify comments made by chief executive Ben Kensell in relation to a whistleblower’s claims that some Easter Road players were not adhering to Covid-19 protocols ahead of their postponed match with Ross County on Saturday October 30.
The Capital club had not addressed the claims until the CEO spoke to the media via Zoom on Wednesday with an update on the coronavirus outbreak at the club.
The Easter Road chief was asked for his take on the allegations made by an individual described as a Glasgow businessman that were sent to the SPFL and reported by a newspaper, that a handful of the Hibs travelling party were not wearing masks during their pre-match stay in an Inverness hotel.
Kensell said: “Having investigated the claims, I trust our staff and players to carry out what’s required, to mitigate the spread of Covid. They’re aware of their responsibilities.
“Firstly, I’d look at the source of the information and it unsurprisingly comes from the blue side of Glasgow, which is a point of speculation in itself,” he added.
“What I don’t want to do is focus on a comment from someone who is just looking to create trouble. We’re talking about a much wider and larger issue that’s affecting the whole country, and we’ve got one individual who just wants to create headlines.”
Asked to expand on his comments, Kensell continued: “I’m not saying anyone is a liar. We have our processes, the players know their responsibilities and ultimately, I’m confident in our processes and in the responsibility the players have to follow them.
"[The claims] came from the blue side of Glasgow. That’s a fact. I think there was a genuine concern [from the whistleblower] but I also think that this was someone trying to sensationalise a situation where the welfare of many, many people is at stake.”
Kensell’s comments sparked an angry reaction from Rangers fans on social media, with many assuming the Hibs chief was pointing the finger at the Ibrox club.
However, in a brief statement published on the club’s official website, Hibs said: “For clarification, in the press conference, Ben Kensell was not referring to any individuals at Rangers Football Club in regards to the whistleblowing story.”