Jack Ross hails Hibs' resilience in face of on and off-field challenges
Hibs’ annual accounts do not tell the full story but they do point to the financial toll the Covid pandemic has taken on the Scottish game.
The latest yearly figures, released yesterday, show that almost half of the £5.3m the Easter Road club had sitting in the bank at the end of the previous year has been wiped out as they absorbed the cost of implementing extra coronavirus-related safeguards and continue to deal with the related loss of income.
The fact they have still managed to push towards their best league finish in 16 years and cup semi-finals is testimony to everyone associated with the club according to manager Jack Ross.
“We have had a lot of challenges this year but we have been resilient. That goes for the playing side but also for the club as a whole.
“Things like wage deferrals. There are a lot of people at this club who have still not had the money due to them. We have lost a lot of staff over the past year and things have been stripped right back. So there has been a lot of pain and a lot of things to deal with but we have still been in the top four all season and got to the cup semi-finals and if people could see us at work every day over the past year, they would see the challenges and how determined we have had to be to get to this stage.”
Some of the money due to players and staff was squared up at the turn of the year, with the outstanding balance scheduled to be paid at the end of the season but, Ross said, the onfield achievements are testimony to the character and commitment of playing and non-playing staff as well as the fans who helped loosen the constraints by buying season tickets.
“I would hope that the supporters would recognise things like that and see it almost as a show of solidarity. We know that the fans stepped up and still bought season tickets in numbers even although they have never made it inside the stadium. So, we recognise that they have made sacrifices as well and everyone has played their part.”