It has been a busy few days for everyone involved at Hibernian Supporters this week, with over 700 fans coming forward in less than five days to start or reactivate their contributions ahead of the new season kicking off in six weeks.
With no shares available to acquire for the time being we have been encouraged to use the platform to raise additional funds for Hibernian FC with Scottish football clubs affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
During this initiative funds will be directed to the club once a month in order to support the success of Hibernian into the 2020/21 season.
With a huge upturn in interest and support from fans this week chairman Jim Adie spoke to the HibsTalk and Longbangers podcasts to update them on the activity of Hibernian Supporters during a productive week.
Speaking to Hibs Talk, Jim outlined the stance of Hibernian Supporters with the purchase of shares off the table for the time being.
“In January when it was made clear that there were no more shares available we had to immediately update our Members. Any money coming in now can’t be used to buy shares and we can’t accumulate too much money either.”
With supporters keen to know how many fans are on board with Hibernian Supporters, Jim explained putting an exact figure on it is somewhat challenging.
He believes there are around 3000 people who are either fully paid members of Hibernian Supporters or somewhere on the journey towards full membership.
“We’ve got some people who joined at the beginning, have paid their £225 and are members but perhaps haven’t contributed again thereafter. We have some who are partly on a journey having paid so much towards the full membership fee and may have stopped, and we’ve got others who are still actively contributing.”
As well as hundreds of fans signing up to one-off donations or monthly direct debits to Hibernian Supporters, there have been many offers of help in other forms with fans reaching out to make suggestions or volunteer time and expertise.
Jim added: “The good thing about the last few days is that we’ve had a number of people coming forward with offers of help. We’ve been saying to people ‘please come and help us’, and we absolutely welcome offers of help from supporters.”
Speaking to the Longbangers podcast, Jim was keen to emphasise that all energies are being focussed on doing all that we can to support Hibernian in the coming weeks and months.
“As a group of directors, we feel that now is not the time to be discussing the rights and wrongs of the past – we believe at this moment that would be totally inappropriate. We’ve got the infrastructure and we’ve got the vehicle, if people want to donate the money we are happy to be used in that way.”
While there has been a large upturn in interest and contributions, Jim is keen to stress that at no point have the club contacted Hibernian Supporters asking for financial support.
“We want to make it crystal clear that the club haven’t approached us. No one has come to us asking us to raise money or to launch any initiative. Our members and other supporters have approached us as a means to get some money into the club quickly – what kind of Hibs supporters would we be to deny that?”
“What we want to do is make sure people know what’s going on and know what’s happening with their money right now. We are keen to make it clear to people that your money is not being used to acquire shares at the moment, we are simply directing the money over to the club during this difficult period.”
Everyone at Hibernian Supporters understands that people are facing difficult decisions in the midst of financial uncertainty and it is important to reiterate that fans should only consider making a contribution if they are in a position to do so.
“We know this is a really difficult time, people are being made redundant and fans are struggling as it is. We don’t think it’s appropriate to be going out and making any appeals or anything like that, the club have not indicated there is any emergency, they are just saying ‘we’ve looked at the finances right now and at how it is likely to be going forward’ and that they are going to have to make adjustments now to make sure that we remain healthy.”
Thank you for your continued support.