Hibs supporters group chief rejects ownership plan

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MIKE RILEY, chairman of the ­Hibernian Supporters’ Association (HSA), has added his voice to the opposition to the Hibs board’s attempts to move ­towards fan ownership.

Supporter movements BuyHibs and Hands on Hibs have both criticised the creation of Hibernian Supporters Limited (HSL), which will allow fans to purchase shares in the club for a minimum of £18.75 per month.

Chairman of the Hibs supportors club Mike Riley. Picture: TSPL

Chairman of the Hibs supportors club Mike Riley. Picture: TSPL

The aim is to raise £2.5 million and allow supporters, through HSL, to gain a 51 per cent controlling stake. Edinburgh-born businessman Sir Tom Farmer currently holds a 90 per cent stake in the club.

However, Riley insists it does not represent a move towards fan ownership. He said: “This is not community ownership. The proposals are basically calling on fans to make a donation to the multi-millionaire club owner.

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“Despite plans for a new company, HSL, the fans will still not own the club or be running it. Overall control will remain with the majority shareholder and the current board.

“I, myself, would advise fans not to put money in but I have made it clear these are my personal views as chairman.”

The HSA has about 3,000 members. Club legends Pat Stanton and Jackie McNamara Snr have backed the HSL plan.