Hands on Hibs halts campaign against share issue

Kenny MacAskill, left, chair of HSL, with fellow board members,  Leeann Dempster and Charlie Reid. Picture: Greg Macvean

Kenny MacAskill, left, chair of HSL, with fellow board members, Leeann Dempster and Charlie Reid. Picture: Greg Macvean

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HIBERNIAN and Hands On Hibs have agreed to cease hostilities for the duration of the club’s share offer, which was launched on Monday and stays open until the end of August.

Hibs chairman Rod Petrie and director Amanda Jones met Jim Slaven and Bradley Welsh of the campaign group on Wednesday and, while Hands On Hibs still oppose the terms of the share issue, they decided they will no longer campaign actively against it. For their part, the board have agreed to review the scheme – which aims to raise up to £2.5 million through the recently created Hibernian Supporters Limited – when it closes. The review will include submissions from fans and shareholders.

In a statement on their Facebook page, Hands On Hibs said that, having made their views on the scheme known, they believed that the priority for Hibs supporters was now to back manager Alan Stubbs and his team in their bid to win promotion back to the Premiership.

“HOH remain of the view that this is not a good deal for Hibs fans,” they said. “However, we accept it is a matter for each fan to decide for themselves whether to donate to the scheme or not. The issue is dividing Hibs supporters. We must not allow that to happen as we enter a crucial stage of the season. It is time for leadership. Both HOH and the board urge fans to unite behind the manager and the team in our push for promotion.”

Last week Petrie spoke out against what he called the “guerrilla tactics” of HOH in their campaign against the share scheme, which, referring to club owner Sir Tom Farmer, they have called “a donation to a multi-millionaire”. HOH have also been criticised on supporters’ chatrooms, with some fans calling them unrepresentative.

“Hands On Hibs have agreed to the board’s request for an end to their campaign against the share issue and HSL scheme,” a statement agreed by both parties said. “The group’s concerns with the HSL scheme are well known. However, Hibs supporters now have enough information about the scheme to decide for themselves whether to support the scheme.

“The board remain critical of Hands On Hibs’ tactics, but welcome their decision to refocus their energies on supporting the team. The board reiterates its view that this share issue offers the supporters of Hibernian the best opportunity to widen ownership and have increased supporter and community involvement.

“The current share issue is part of the process of change at Hibernian Football Club. As part of this process the board will conduct a review of the share issue in September, shortly after the closing date of 31 August. This review will include representations from supporters and shareholders. We urge all supporters to engage positively in this process and to unite in their support for the manager and the team.”

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