Hibs ‘delighted’ by Stanton’s BuyHibs campaign

Buy Hibs fans group members (L/R) Paul Kane, Neil Wheelan, Pat Stanton and Andrew Sibley. Pic: SNS
Buy Hibs fans group members (L/R) Paul Kane, Neil Wheelan, Pat Stanton and Andrew Sibley. Pic: SNS
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HIBS chief executive Leeann Dempster has said the club is “delighted” by Pat Stanton’s bid to take the club into community ownership.

The board issued a statement on the club website on Tuesday night following the launch of the BuyHibs campaign earlier in the day.

Hibs Chief Exec Leann Dempster. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

Hibs Chief Exec Leann Dempster. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

The group, which has the backing of the Supporters’ Association, the Hibernian Former Players’ Association and Supporters Direct Scotland among other organisations, is seeking to persuade owner Sir Tom Farmer to begin negotiations with them to buy the club, the stadium and the training centre at East Mains.

Ms Dempster said they looked forward to a ‘positive conversation’.

She said: “We are delighted to learn that Pat Stanton is leading and has launched a campaign to encourage supporters to invest in the ownership of the Club and fund its sporting ambitions.

“We look forward to having a positive conversation with BuyHibs so that we can understand the full details of their proposals and how they are intended to both keep the Club safe and take it forward.

“It is well known that the Board has been consulting widely with supporters and is fine tuning its strategy for the future of the Club.

“This will be presented to the existing 1,700 shareholders of the Club at the forthcoming AGM and shared with supporters and the wider Hibernian family.

“This is a genuinely exciting period of change at the Club and the Board has consulted widely and will continue to listen to all contributions to make sure that all supporters are involved.”

The club have set in motion plans for their own membership scheme with fan representatives on the board following a survey of supporters.

Farmer and fellow shareholder Rod Petrie have so far rebuffed initial attempts from groups seeking to purchase the club.

Club legend Stanton said today: “The BuyHibs campaign has the ultimate aim of buying our club.

“We are in the fortunate position that the motivation for BuyHibs has not been generated from an emergency situation through a threatened insolvency like supporters of other clubs have been faced with.

“We want to be in a position where we can make a positive contribution to the long term position of our club and to be ready to buy the club when the opportunity arises.

“We are asking fans to pledge to provide funds which will allow BuyHibs to drive positive change, and to give an indication of what size of stake is achievable.

“We are open to work with all Hibernian-minded people and groups who share the same goal.

“As a first step, we call on Sir Tom Farmer and Rod Petrie to meet with us to find and promote a positive and sustainable change for the betterment of Hibernian and to provide Sir Tom with a clear and deserved exit from the club he has backed for many years.”

BuyHibs director Neil Wheelan added: “The club are failing on and off the park and the need for change has never been greater; the club needs a new direction with fresh drive and investment coming into the club. The potential within the Hibernian fanbase is enormous and this must be used to take the club forward.

“The club needs sweeping changes to bring a new and more positive outlook and the required fresh investment.

“It would appear that the current custodians have no desire to invest to move the club forward so we call on Sir Tom Farmer to remain true to his word and pass the Football Club, Easter Road Stadium and the East Main Training Academy into a community-backed vehicle that safeguards the future of all assets.

“In doing this it will allow Sir Tom Farmer to leave a legacy for the work that has been done during his time as custodian.”