Hibs to consider closing part of Easter Road after hooligan attacks Rangers captain

Leeann Dempster has insisted Hibs will consider closing part of Easter Road’s East Stand after the Capital club was left “embarrassed” by a fan attacking Rangers captain James Tavernier.

Friday, 8th March 2019, 10:21 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th March 2019, 8:17 am
The police grapple with the intruder as James Tavernier looks on

The incident came only six days after a bottle was thrown at Celtic player Scott Sinclair from the same area of the ground, Dempster revealing she’d written to him to apologise and had spoken to Tavernier to convey her regrets. Adamant the fan who vaulted the advertising hoarding to confront Tavernier will never attend another match, the chief executive admitted she was stunned to find herself defending the club yet again. She said: “Given everything that we have talked about and has been said and written in the last six or seven days I find it astonishing I am having to sit and talk about another incident.

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Fan attacks James Tavernier during Hibs v Rangers clash

“I was going to call him a supporter, but I do not think you can call people like that supporters. To come on to the pitch and confront a player – I can use unacceptable – but that’s not strong enough.

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“The person you saw is in custody and that’s where he should be as far as I am concerned. He will not be coming to another football match at Easter Road, ever. That’s in our gift to deliver.”

Dempster insisted security arrangements at the ground met every requirement but disclosed that a new camera system was in operation in that area, but claimed it was difficult to stop “idiots like that”. Asked if Hibs might consider closing that part of the ground, Dempster replied: “I don’t think anything is off the table. I think we should be openly discussing what we have to do.

“It reflects badly on the club, it reflects badly on the Scottish game at a time where the Scottish game is thriving and doing lots of good things. But what are we talking about again tonight? A foolish idiot coming on to a pitch again. It’s completely and utterly unacceptable.

“I missed the entire second half. What should we be talking about? A good game of football on a Friday night. It’s ridiculous.

“This week, after everything has happened, why would somebody come on to the pitch and do that? It’s unacceptable at any point, but given anything that’s going on ... words fail me.”