Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie has blamed a lack of on-the-pitch success and the recession for the club posting a £900,000 loss in the latest financial results published. It is the first time that Hibs have failed to publish a profit for seven years.
With the fans turning their back on the team due to poor form and sitting just a point above bottom side Inverness Caley Thistle, the financial figures add to the problems at Easter Road currently.
Turnover fell by £100,000 to £7 million, and net debt at Easter Road rose from £4.1 million to £5.9 million. Staff wages remained at £4.8 million, representing 69% of turnover and net assets fell to £14.4 million.
Petrie published a statement on the official Hibs website: “In the current difficult economic conditions, every household faces pressure on its domestic budget and on discretionary expenditure. This, in turn, has an adverse effect on the club’s finances.
“Of course, we are very mindful of the obvious fact that the lack of success on the field had a direct bearing on the level of turnover. The sporting outcomes for the season were not what any of us would have wished. The team exited two competitions before the change in management and suffered the disappointment of an exit from the third competition in early January before new manager Colin Calderwood was able to refresh the squad.
“Despite the figures recorded last year, the financial position of the club is secure. Together we can move forward, and we all have our part to play – as supporters, as players, as a coaching team, as staff, and as board members. The support for your team is more vital today than it has ever been.”
He added: “To address the imbalance between income and expenditure, the board took action earlier this year – costs have had to be cut. This has meant re-structuring the club from board level down, including redundancies and not replacing posts that were vacated through natural wastage.
“This is the third year in succession that there has been no increase in staff salaries and I would like to record my thanks for the mature and responsible way in which all staff have responded.” In a rallying call to supporters, who clearly voiced their discontent with the team’s on-field performances during Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Motherwell, managing director Fife Hyland made a plea for togetherness to tackle the challenges ahead. He said: “The unity between the team, club and supporters has never been as important as it is today, and it is imperative all opportunities are explored together to continue to focus on the club’s priorities – success on the pitch and the growth of Hibernian FC.
“On behalf of everyone at Hibernian, I would like to thank all our partners and supporters who have renewed memberships, supported the team at Easter Road, invested in the team via the clubstore and provided feedback to the club over the past season.
“The commitment of supporters and partners in the face of challenging circumstances is sincerely appreciated and provides the base upon which we can all move forward.”
The club’s AGM is on the 8th November and with Colin Calderwood under increasing pressure for matters on the pitch, both Petrie and Calderwood could face the wrath of shareholders.
Source: Official Hibs website | BBC Sport