Hibs fans chief admits early decision is for the best

Hibs fans chief Mike Riley today welcomed the SPL's early decision to axe the entire weekend programme, insisting supporters' safety was of paramount importance.

While admitting he personally felt the postponement of the six matches, including Hibs home clash with St Mirren, had come a little too early, Riley agreed out-of-town fans would be happy to have avoided any chance of a late call-off.

Riley, chairman of the Hibs Supporters' Association, said: "The usual complaint is that matches are called off when fans are already on their way to the ground so, while I think it's perhaps been a bit early, it's probably the right decision at the end of the day.

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"People tend to forget that Hibs have a lot of fans who travel from the Borders, East Lothian and elsewhere in the country who would obviously have had great difficulty getting to Easter Road.

"Fans' safety is more important than anything else. There was a lot of uncertainty last weekend about matches because of the strike by referees, I had a lot of phone calls even on the morning of the game asking if I knew whether it was going ahead after the Portuguese officials had gone home the night before.

"It's disappointing we won't be getting a game on Saturday but it's good to know early rather than at the last minute. In today's economic climate I'd imagine it will also help the clubs save a bit of money in having time to cancel catering supplies, stewards and the like."

The big freeze has also led to the fans' road show, which was due to have taken place at the Supporters' Association clubrooms at Sunnyside, being cancelled. It will now take place next Thursday at the same venue (7.30pm).

Broken foot victim Darryl Duffy. meanwhile, has revealed he could be out of action for at least another fortnight having needed an injection in a bid to cure a heel problem.