FANS’ chief Mike Riley today insisted that Hibs supporters must send the Easter Road club a positive message when they meet to discuss what they believe is the best way forward for their team.
Around 300 fans are due to descend on the Hibs Supporters Club tomorrow in the first of a series of forums designed to come up with not only questions for the club’s board, but also a range of ideas and initiatives they think will help the club to progress.
The meetings have been arranged in response to contact they have received from supporters following a morale-sapping season which saw Hibs narrowly avoid relegation and crash to defeat in the Scottish Cup final to Hearts.
Despite the obvious frustration that is still felt by Hibs fans following that loss to the Tynecastle side in particular, Riley – chairman of the Hibs Supporters Association – insists that they must take a measured approach.
He said: “The chairmen and secretaries of the all the branches and representatives of Hibees Bounce, Hibs.net and The 12th Man will be coming along.
“We have had a few letters from fans telling us that they have got questions they would like to ask the board so we decided to bring everyone together to see what the biggest and most important points are.
“Ideally we want to be able to give the board a list of things that we would like to see happen and things that we believe are problems.
“The hope is that the members come up with some decent proposals and ideas on how they believe they can develop the club.
“I want to stress that it is about the way forward, we are not interested in people arguing over things. Everyone knows how embarrassing the cup final was for Hibs supporters, there’s no point in going over old ground. It’s about the future now and what it holds for Hibs.
“We want everyone to be positive because this is all about the way forward for the club – but we need to know if there will be money available for quality players to come in.”
The only man who can answer that question is club chairman Rod Petrie, who is unable to attend this meeting, but has contacted forum organisers to intimate that he would hope to meet with them in the near future.
Riley continued: “This meeting will be quite low key, but it is the start of a number of forums that we will be holding.
“Unfortunately Rod Petrie is over at the European Championships right now but he did send us a nice letter saying that he hopes to be able to meet with us at a later date.
“What has happened has happened and we have got to move on and find the best way for the club to do that.
“At the end of the day, everyone knows what happened to the team last season and we don’t want to finish 12th next time around.
“The fans want to know what the club is doing to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Meanwhile, a poll posted on Hibs.net has revealed that 99 per cent of those who took part want to see Rangers banished to the Third Division.
Rangers have had to re-apply for membership to Scotland’s top flight after new owner Charles Green’s CVA proposal was rejected by creditors and the Ibrox club were liquidated.
The remaining 11 SPL chairmen will now have to vote on whether to allow them to continue to play in Scotland’s best league or possibly demote them to the Third Division, and many have pledged to take the views of their own supporters into consideration.
More than 800 Hibs supporters have polled their views – and only six voted for Rangers to be allowed to stay in the SPL.