By: HIBERNIAN MEDIA on 02 Jul, 2019 10:55
On the 4th of July 1991, Sir Tom Farmer saved Hibernian Football Club for a second time when he bought the club and Easter Road Stadium from the receivers of the listed parent company, Forth Investments plc.
The previous year Sir Tom had purchased shares in Forth Investments pie on the stock exchange to help block a hostile takeover.
Sir Tom, and all the supporters who bought shares in the listed company, lost their money.
In 1992, Sir Tom made a gift of shares in Hibernian Football Club to those 1800 supporters who had invested and who had lost their money, thereby creating the governance structure which exists to this day.
The Club had no assets when it was rescued in 1991.
Sir Tom brought the stadium back into the ownership of the Club and presided over the complete transformation of Easter Road Stadium into a UEFA compliant 20,000 all seated stadium.
The state-of-the-art Hibernian Training Centre was created and opened in 2007.
Both these assets are used not only by professional football but also by women's, youth development and the community.
During Sir Tom's ownership, the Club won the Scottish Cup and the League Cup twice. In total there have been a total of 9 cup final appearances a further 10 semi-finals and ten campaigns in Europe.
- 1990 - bought shares in Edinburgh Hibernian pie to block a hostile takeover
- 1990 - funded the transfer fee of £240k paid to Borussia Dortmund for Murdo Macleod
- 1991 - bought Hibernian Football Club and Easter Road Stadium (which had been offered separately) from the receivers of the listed pie
- 1991 - Scottish League Cup win
- 1992 - gift of shares to every supporter who lost money in the listed pie
- 1994 - redevelopment of Easter Road Stadium begins with North and South stands including corporate hospitality facilities
- 1997 - Easter Road Stadium transferred back into ownership of the Hibernian Football Club
- 2001 - construction of main West Stand
- 2007 - Scottish League Cup win
- 2007 - creation of the Hibernian Training Centre
- 2008 - Hibernian Community Foundation established
- 2010 - construction of new East Stand completes the redevelopment of Easter Road Stadium
- 2010 - Sir Tom amongst first inductees to Hibernian Hall of Fame
- 2015 - share issue to supporters to "help fund the sporting ambition"
- 2016 - Scottish Cup win
- 2018 - fourth place finish in the Premiership, qualify for Europe
- 2018 - European trips to the Faroe Islands, Greece and Norway
- 2019 - on the 1st of July...
The family connection between Sir Tom and Hibernian began a long time before he bought the Club.
One hundred years previously, in 1890, the Club found itself in difficulties following the defection of players and staff to the east end of Glasgow to set up a rival club.
The Club stopped playing for over a year.
In 1891, four gentlemen met in a tea-room on the High Street in Edinburgh and each pledged £5 to help resurrect the Club.
John Farmer and Philip Farmer, Sir Tom Farmer's grandfather and his brother were two of those men.
They decreed that henceforth Hibernian Football Club would be an open club, welcoming people from all backgrounds and religious faiths.
In 1892, the Club secured the lease on Drum Park, an area of ground with a steep slope and difficult access.
This became Easter Road Stadium, the home of Hibernian Football Club to this day.
The Club went on to win the Scottish Cup in 1902, building on the success from its previous Scottish Cup win in 1887.
That the Club should win the Cup again in 2016, under the stewardship of Sir Tom Farmer, brought the 114-year-wait for the trophy to an entirely appropriate end.