Shaun Maloney has say on Hearts v Hibs ticket prices as he makes 'support the fans' claim
Shaun Maloney has warned Hibs not to get too distracted by the prospect of a Scottish Cup semi-final against rivals Hearts, insisting that there are plenty of big games between now and the Hampden showdown.
Describing the forthcoming Edinburgh derby at the national stadium as a “brilliant draw”, the Easter Road boss continued: “It’s going to be a fantastic match. Both semis are really good, two big derbies.
“It’s something to really look forward to, but there are a lot of big games before that. We’ll put that to the back of our minds just now but I think everyone in the city can start thinking about it."
Such a big game on the horizon may be a distraction but Maloney is eager for his players to focus on securing maximum points from the remaining Scottish Premiership matches before the split.
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“We’ve got big games coming up, starting with Aberdeen, so I don’t think there needs to be any more motivation,” he continued.
“There are four or five teams fighting for that top six, top-four position, so it’s a massive occasion to come but before then we have some really big games in the league – and every game does feel very, very big at the moment.”
Hibs and Hearts both voiced their displeasure at the ticket pricing for the Hampden showdown and Maloney admitted he had similar thoughts about the cost for supporters.
“I know how expensive it is to follow football, I think we probably all do, and we noticed in the 18 months to two years when we didn’t have fans in the ground what the game is like without them.
“Our view was that we would have liked the price to be a fair bit less, to understand the supporters and how difficult it is, and how many of them do travel to these matches.
“It would have been nice, from our point of view, if we had made that price less but we made our feelings clear and now that decision has been made.”
Hibs launched a ‘Football for a Fiver’ initiative for their match against St Johnstone at the start of the month and enjoyed a crowd of more than 19,000 at Easter Road. Maloney is eager for more of that, and highlighted the impact of the raucous travelling fans who cheered his side on to victory against Motherwell, but accepts that greater TV revenue in other leagues makes it hard to compare the Scottish system with other countries.
“I don’t understand the full economics but even more so now, after what we’ve come through in the last 18 months to two years, we have to do more to support our supporters,” he stated.
“That’s not just Hibs, it’s across the board. When we had such a large number of fans for the St Johnstone game, it made a huge difference to the atmosphere.
“So, the more we can do to support them the better. But it’s difficult to compare to other leagues because other leagues have far greater TV revenue.
"I understand both sides but we do have to support the supporters a little bit more.
“The support we had at Motherwell was amazing, it was really inspirational to see that. The more I can do to help them the better, really.”