HIBERNIAN chief executive Leeann Dempster has confirmed the club’s intention to release its own survey to supporters after conducting “lively” and “productive” consultations with 600 fans over three days. The announcement came just 24 hours after Paul Kane, of campaign group Hibernian Forever, urged fans to complete a survey on the website of Supporters Direct Scotland ahead of a potential community-led takeover.
Dempster hosted meetings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening at Easter Road aimed at gauging the opinion of the Hibs fanbase regarding the way forward for the capital club.
Although each gathering had around 200 fans, Hibs now hope to reach a wider span of supporters with a survey. Among the topics expected to be broached by the questionnaire are supporter representation on the board, membership schemes, and supporter ownership.
“The meetings were well attended, lively, and productive with the vast majority of those attending keen to engage in a process that they understand will help shape the future direction of the club,” explained Dempster. “Some good points were strongly made, and some interesting ideas emerged.
“We will take these on board as we create a survey we hope as many supporters as possible will participate in – through the website and through a variety of other means to ensure we get the widest cross section of feedback possible.
“We are also aware of the online survey being promoted by Supporters Direct Scotland and we would also urge supporters to take part in that – as well as taking part in our own survey.” Hibs also announced they are making 7,000 free tickets available for their next home match against Cowdenbeath as they aim to create a party atmosphere at Easter Road to celebrate the birthday of Pat Stanton. Stanton, regarded by some as the greatest ever Hibs player, turns 70 on 13 September and the club have given every season ticket holder the opportunity to claim one free ticket as they look to ensure a bumper turnout. On the pitch, it emerged that Farid El Alagui will play again this season following surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The 29-year-old went under the knife at Glasgow’s Ross Hall Hospital on Wednesday after sustaining the damage during last weekend’s defeat against Alloa. The operation has been deemed a success, with Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs estimating a time-frame of “four to six months” for El Alagui’s recovery.
Meanwhile, Falkirk yesterday paraded freed Hibs midfielder Owain Tudur Jones, Peter Houston’s ninth signing.
Houston, who also signed Joe Shaughnessy on loan from Aberdeen and Hearts winger David Smith on Monday, said: “Owain Tudur Jones is a Wales internationalist and he first came to my attention when I was with Scotland and he played against us in the Carling Nations Cup. He played centre midfield and played really well. So, it was a surprise to me that he ended up at Inverness.
“I was the United manager at the time and I never thought a player like that would become available. He’s nearly 30 years of age, he’s got good experience, he’s a good passer of the ball and he’s still got plenty of legs left.