CHAIRMAN Rod Petrie has pleaded with Hibernian supporters to buy 3,000 more season tickets amid warnings of “significant” losses to the Edinburgh club following the demise of Rangers.
The “newco” version of the Glasgow outfit was last week banished to the Third Division, a move which the Easter Road chairman predicts could hit Hibs harder than many of their rivals as manager Pat Fenlon seeks to rebuild his playing squad.
While the commercial losses from Rangers playing in the lowest tier of league football are yet to be fully evaluated, Petrie says Hibs’ budget is now reliant on supporters improving on the 7,000 season tickets already sold.
Petrie said: “The clubs have made the right decision for the right reasons but these decisions do not come without a cost. Every club will be affected. The precise level of those shortfalls will not be known for weeks.
“In many ways we are in a worse position than other clubs because we have a significant rebuilding job to do.
“We had started the process of bringing players in, but that will now be hampered unless we can sell more season tickets.”
Hibernian were one of the ten clubs who voted “no to newco” upon their application to join the Scottish Premier League on 4 July. Indeed Petrie was among the first club chiefs to publicly state the importance of “sporting integrity” prevailing despite the financial ramifications.
That decision was vociferously demanded by fans, but Petrie continued: “There are a significant amount of season ticket holders from last season who have not renewed – and from the season before that.
“We have had two years of sporting disappointment, so we know it is difficult for everybody to look at it in a positive light.
“But the manager is starting to build a squad and if we had an additional 3,000 season ticket holders – and that is the target we need to set ourselves – then we can have a positive start to the season. We must go forward together.”