Hibs have urged fans to help boost new boss Neil Lennon’s transfer budget by snapping up their season tickets as early as possible.
The Easter Road outfit are “bang on target” to reach their goal of 10,000 season ticket sales – a figure which would represent a 30 per cent increase on last year – but want to be able to give Lennon the best possible chance of steering the club back to the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Lennon has already revealed there are areas of the squad he inherited from Alan Stubbs which he’d like to strengthen with the addition of a new striker to be high on his list of priorities.
So, while delighted to see season-ticket sales steadily rise, Hibs are hoping fans will see the importance of committing as soon as they can to giving Lennon “more certainty” as to his budget as he seeks fresh talent.
Lennon, who has been working for the BBC at the European Championships in France, was due at the club’s East Mains training centre today along with assistant Garry Parker as the players reported back for their first day of pre-season training with their first competitive match – in the Europa League qualifiers – only three weeks away.
Hibs hope to announce details of tickets arrangements for the first leg of that second round qualifing tie against either Valur Reykjavik of Iceland or Denmark’s Brondby on July 14 in due course and, as the start of the new Championship season nears, Greig Mailer, head of communications and marketing, expects another upward swing in season-ticket sales.
He said: “Sales are continuing to progress and are now more than 9400. I’d imagine there will be additional interest with the players coming back and everyone more firmly focused on the start of the season.
“The numbers are looking good and it really does help us to plan our budgets, so the sooner fans sign up the more certainty it gives us in planning for Neil and everyone at the training centre.”
In setting the 10,000 target, chief executive Leeann Dempster revealed Hibs had attracted 1000 new season-ticket holders, but she also disclosed some 2000 existing members had still to renew, a figure which Mailer indicated was dropping.
He said: “A number of those fans have since renewed and we’d expect more to do so the nearer we get to the start of the new season although we’ll have further communicatiion with those who haven’t done so as yet to understand what they are planning to do.”
With the first home league game not until the visit of Dunfermline in mid-August, Mailer conceded some fans may not feel there’s an urgency to buy until closer to that date, something he insisted he was “relaxed” about.
But he added: “We’ve had a considerable increase in sales, more than 30 per cent year-on-year, so our message to supporters would be that if they are to get the best seats available then they should sign up as early as possible.
“However, if some want to wait until nearer the big kick-off, then we’ll be more than happy to see them do so then.”