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What happened to the Summer of Change??
Published : 06 Aug 2012 15:50:32
So there we have it folks, 24 hours on from the first game of the season against Dundee Utd, and it's more of the same.
Hibs were ripped apart 3-0 and it could have been a lot more, if it were not for a good showing from our new keeper Ben Williams, and some poor finishing from United.
The Hibees hierarchy promised us a "summer of change", and a "Hibernian with bottle" and sadly, yesterday everything stayed the same.
You have to wonder how much longer a disillusioned Hibs support will put up with this, our season ticket sales apparently sit close to the 8,000 mark, remarkable when you consider the last three seasons at the club.
Hibs chairman Rod Petrie released a statement last week about us losing 3,000 season ticket holders, it seems his plea has worked to an extent, with nearly another 1,000 folk investing their hard earned money, yet everything is the same on the pitch.
We had a team on the park, backed by an excellent travelling support yesterday, void of ideas, sloppy at defending, with a non existant midfield, and a good striker struggling away up front with no support.
Take nothing away from our opponents yesterday, the Tayside club have built an excellent squad, on a budget MUCH less than ours, so what is it our club is doing wrong??
We have lost 16 players in the summer and only signed five, and to be honest, the five we have signed look good signings, but we are EASILY 5 or 6 good quality players away from having a side that could compete in the top 6, and we are not talking about the Kerr's and Maybury's of this world.
The most annoying thing is, we had 3 players on the park yesterday, who were deemed not good enough to even get in a side humiliated by THEM 5-1 at Hampden in May.
To make matters worse, there is still another 5 players (7 if you count McPake and Griffiths who were the only highlights last season and great re-signings) that played that day, still in the squad, how does that equate to a "summer of change"?
Why did these players not get shown the door, along with others not judged good enough that day still in the squad, so that our manager had a clean slate to work with??
There must surely be a fair amount of Fenlon's budget left?? The TV deals have now been sorted, with deals pretty much the same as they were before, as I pointed out earlier we have picked up close to 1,000 season ticket holders, we sold Isaiah Osbourne for, depending what reports you believe, £200,000-£400,000. Even at worst case scenario it's £200,000 into the coffers. You then add to that the £75,000 sell on fee we picked up for Sol Bamba's move from Leicester City to Turkey last month.
What is happening with this cash, surely Fenlon must get it???
The constant selling on of good players, and replacing them with free agents has finally come back and bit us on the arse.
Don't get me wrong, building the Training Facility and East Stand, and also driving down the debt was they way forward, one the club deserves credit for, but for a good example, we sold Scott Brown for £4.5m, and replaced him with Brian Kerr for free. Could we not have banked the £4m and bolstered our then managers budget with the 500k??
You could go on, Fletcher, Murphy, Whittaker, Thomson, O'Connor, Jones, Sproule all sold on for big money and replaced with an inferior player.
Even players who have walked away under freedom of contract have been replaced with inferior product. Benji, Zemmama, Riordan, Killen........
We have been on a never ending decline since, is it any wonder that so has our season ticket sales and attendances??
During the Tony Mowbray/John Collins era, our average attendance was at one point 14,700. Last season?? 9099.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that if you put out an exciting team, our club has the support to take advantage, especially with Rangers now out the picture
43,000 against Livingston in the CIS Cup Final 2004, 32,000 against Kilmarnock in the CIS Cup Final 2007, 25,000 in last season's Scottish Cup FInal.
Even our last home SPL game of the season, 15,000+ against Dunfermline, that's the POTENTIAL we have sitting there waiting to be tapped into.
You then get onto our owner, surely it's time we approached the man and asked him to invest in the team, we are not talking millions here, he could put his hand in his pocket for a marquee signing or two, get the fans back on side, and watch season ticket sales go up, and make his cash back.
If he's not willing to invest in the team, then surely he should be seeking a buyer who will?
Yes Mr Farmer saved our club from oblivion, and IMO the man should be knighted, have a stand named after him and be given the freedom of Leith, but I think it's time he and the board stepped up to the plate and delivered a side to us fans that we deserve?
It's over to Mr Petrie, Mr Lindsay, the rest of the board and Mr Farmer to deliver, or we can expect another horrible season.
Over to you guys.........