UNWRAPPING a package on Christmas Day to discover tickets to the football would be most women’s worst nightmare.
Despite that, one of the Capital’s biggest clubs is offering just that - a match day package fellas can buy the lady in their life as a Christmas present.
Hibernian Football Club’s first ever Ladies Day will be held at Easter Road early in the New Year.
Costing £90 per person and purely for members of the fairer sex, the inaugural event is currently being billed by Hibs as the “perfect Christmas present” for women.
It will see fans handed a glass of Champagne on arrival and an executive seat in one of the stadium’s private lounges.
A cocktail masterclass, beauty and health tips, and a pre-match two-course meal are all designed to draw in members of the fairer sex.
Even the traditional steak pie at half time has been taken off the menu in favour of a mini high tea complete with sandwiches and cakes.
Club sales manager Amanda Vettese said going to the football was typically viewed as a “men’s day out”, but Hibs were trying to change that perception. She said: “We do actually have one of the largest female support groups in Scottish football. This is an opportunity to get these ladies along, enjoy some hospitality and give them an opportunity to get glammed up and dressed up and have a wee bit of fun on the day.”
And those unfamiliar with the rules of the game will be given a helping hand by event organisers.
Ms Vettese said: “We’ve got something set up to explain the offside rule to the ladies as well in a way that they’ll understand and we’ve got them all going out to the dug-outs as well to get their picture taken with the manager. We’re encouraging them to get really dressed up. We’ll have a prize for the best dressed lady on the day.”
Breast Cancer Care Scotland is one of the charity and health organisations involved and will provide advice on disease prevention. Most importantly, Ms Vettese stressed there would be no men allowed, apart from the waiters and guest compere Grant Stott.
Self-confessed Hibs fan Susan Craig, from Musselburgh, has already booked tickets to the club’s Ladies Day for herself and two friends.
She said she would enjoy watching the game from the comfort of a private lounge while her husband and son, who are season ticket holders, sit jammed into the stands.
Mrs Craig said: “It’s a chance to get poshed up a bit. I think it could take off and become quite popular. It’s something you could do every year.”
The 44-year-old has a strong family association with Hibs. Her daughter, Gemma Craig, once played for the club’s female 17s side that won the Scottish Cup in their division.
Mrs Craig stressed it was a myth that women did not like the sport, adding: “To be honest I would rather watch football than watch soaps.
“I think there’s more and more females going to watch football games. I know the majority of them are still males, but when I’ve been to the games you see there are quite a lot of females.”
Ladies Day is being held on February 9, when Hibs entertain St Johnstone at Easter Road.
What’s in the fans’ stockings?
A LIMITED-edition Hibs tartan scarf and the Hearts home and away kit are proving the top-sellers for the Capital’s two biggest clubs in the countdown to Christmas.
Hearts have sold playing strips more than any other merchandise item this month.
A DVD of this year’s Scottish Cup final triumph, in which they beat their cross-town rivals 5-1, is, not surprisingly, the club’s second best-selling product.
Calendars, confectionery and baby wear rounded out the top five Christmas presents sold through the Jambos merchandise store.
Across at Hibs, a re-introduced lambswool tartan scarf has been the hot-ticket item.
The Pat Stanton retro shirt, complete with No. 4 printed on the back, and their leisure wear range of polos and hoodies have been the other bestsellers for Christmas for the club.
A Hibs spokesman said all three items were proving “must-haves” for dedicated fans during the festive season.