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Hibernian fans’ Petrie stadium protest bid denied

Campaign group Petrie Out have failed in their bid to be granted access to Easter Road Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Greg Macvean

Campaign group Petrie Out have failed in their bid to be granted access to Easter Road Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Greg Macvean

HIBERNIAN have refused a fans’ group’s request to hold a rally in the club’s stadium in a bid to oust chairman Rod Petrie.

Petrie Out wrote to the Edinburgh club’s chief executive Leannn Dempster to ask permission to hold the protest inside Easter Road Stadium this Saturday.

Paul Kane, the group’s spokesman, said they wanted to hold the protest inside the ground for health and safety reasons.

But the club has itself cited health and safety reasons for denying the campaign permission to hold the event inside the stadium. A club spokesman said that maintenance of the Easter Road pitch and insurance issues were also factors in the decision to deny the campaign’s request.

A club spokesman told the Edinburgh Evening News: “We will not be allowing use of the stadium. We have not been given enough information about the rally, who is coming, how many people are coming, what will be happening etc. In addition, we have ongoing pitch and stadium maintenance work being undertaken throughout the summer which we need to get done in a very short window.

He added: “There is also the issue of paperwork. Because it is not a match, we would need to apply for a safety certificate and insurance, so it is not something we can accommodate.”

Former Hibernian player Kane said: “We are very disappointed the club is shutting the doors on its own fans.

“For health and safety reasons we asked for access to the East Stand, which holds 6,000 people, rather than have a large crowd gather outside the ground.

“Leeann Dempster has cited renovation work along with logistical reasons and the timeframe as reasons for turning us down.

“We are sure these could easily have been overcome and we could have worked together to sort it out.

“The health and safety of Hibs fans on the day is paramount. We will speak to the police and the council about it.

“We did contact Leeann Dempster at the earliest opportunity, as soon as she took up her post at Easter Road yesterday morning.

“We are also disappointed that we heard our request had been turned down through the media - not from the club.

“It would have shown some courtesy and respect to the fans to have contacted us first.”

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