Aug 19
Alan O'Brien of Hibs and Ireland

Alan O'Brien of Hibs and Ireland

The first home fixture of the season was last Saturday and we managed to beat Falkirk 3-2 in what was the best game of football I’ve seen in a long time.  Let’s hope it’s a taste of things to come as despite defensive frailties, Hibs managed to create chances for most of the game.  Long may it continue.

A special mention goes to Alan O’Brien who played a blinder and has now had his name chanted more at Easter Road than Garry O’Connor.  That sounds like a strange one but I think it might just be true.  Maybe Garry got one just before he left.

We were treated to the Hibs board’s version of Pravda which was handed out to supporters before the game.  “The Hibernian Review” which will no doubt appear whenever the board are feeling a bit sensitive about fans criticism, contained the usual stuff you’d expect to find, well, in the match day programme.  Obviously the Chief Executive, Scott Lindsay, had an important message to get across.

As a Club we must all work together to achieve our aspirations, and the backing of supporters for the team is a vital part in that. – That seems reasonable enough

Every Hibernian supporter shares one clear aspiration – to see their team competing for honours by playing attacking football. – True, you’d wonder about the Kilmarnock and Aberdeen fans ;-)

It goes on like that for a while before stating that the club has spent £1M in year ending 2007 and £0.75M this year in “attracting and retaining football talent”.  He takes a bit of a liberty in calculating 1 plus 0.75 as “close to” 2 but that’s beside the point, the point is that this must be a figure plucked out of the air based on transfer fees, signing on fees and god knows what else because we’ve not spent even close to that on transfers.  Who knows what “retaining talent” might involve?  Paying them?

I actually believe we do spend a decent amount on players, our accounts actually show we spend more than most. Board member’s wages are really another post for another day.  What really gets me is the condescending and clumsy way the board attempt to communicate with the fans. I also wonder how the budget will go now since our season ticket numbers appear to have dropped considerably since last season. There’s been no official comment on that yet but I expect Scott Lindsay to state that sales this season are “close to” the same as last year.

Now, I might be getting carried away with conspiracy theories here, but…..

“Sometimes there are exceptional circumstances. In seeking to back Mixu on his appointment in January, the Board agreed to bring a number of players to the club who were not part of the original budget. Several more players have been signed in time for the start of the season. The squad is now larger than planned in normal circumstances. That means the annualised cost of the existing squad is currently higher than we would like through the conscious decision of the Board to support the Manager. The balance of the squad is being redressed.”

This sounds to me like support for the “Mixu has quit” rumours that came from hundreds of “in the know” sources at the same time during the close season.  Could it be that the chairman or chief executive put his foot down and said no-more signings until a few leave, Mixu handed in his resignation which wasn’t accepted and a compromise was found bringing in a few new faces before the start of the season provided major efforts are made to get rid of as many as possible of the deadwood.  Sounds strangely plausible but then conspiracy theories usually do.

Here’s hoping the rest of the season will be like the Falkirk game!

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