‘You’ll see strength of club’ – Sir Tom Farmer says club accounts will vindicate job done by Rod Petrie
Sir Tom Farmer paid tribute to Rod Petrie, who has stepped down after 15 years as chairman at Easter Road following American businessman Ronald Gordon’s buy-out, hailing the “fantastic job” he’s done for Hibs.
Petrie, recently appointed president of the SFA, was often the subject of attack from unhappy supporters, not least in the wake of the shock relegation of 2014.
But while many hurtful words were hurled in the direction of the man who served on the club’s board for a total of 22 years, Farmer insisted Petrie at times never quite believed just how many supporters backed him.
He said: “I’ve seen Rod when some of the comments have been made by people – they were very hurtful to him. I came to realise that, although these comments weren’t necessarily addressed to me personally, or even to Rod personally, it was because we were tied up in football. People’s obsession clouded what they said.
“I could mentions names of people who, today, are some of our strongest supporters. Rod would always ask me: ‘What are they saying at the back of the church on Sunday?’
“A lot of the guys would be pulling my leg about what was going on at the club. Rod never believed me when I said he had a lot of people out there who support him because it always seemed to be that he was getting attacked. And it was hurtful, especially when, at the end of the day, we were getting nothing out of it.
“Rod had one obsession, to make sure the club survived, operating in a business-like manner.
“Everything that has happened over the past 28 years, we’ve put back into the club. The facilities here are the envy of many people, training facilities that are second to none, no debt and no financial concerns.
“And that will become apparent because today is the end of the financial year and, when the accounts come out in six months time, you’ll see the strength of the club.”