By: Hibernian Media on 26 Mar, 2020 19:00
I hope you and your families are keeping safe and well as millions around the world come to terms with a “lockdown” designed to fight the Coronavirus.
What started only a couple of months ago in China has now become a global pandemic impacting the health and wellbeing of millions of people.
These are unprecedented times impacting our family, civic and economic lives in very dramatic ways.
As you know, Hibs and football in Scotland, the UK and Europe and are not immune from the impact of the virus. Under the guidance and direction of government, the Scottish FA and SPFL, we have stopped training and playing football to safeguard the wellbeing of our supporters and players, staff and community.
Daily club operations have essentially ceased - other than key personnel, all players and staff have been asked to stay home. A core group, which deserves our admiration and gratitude, have been diligently working on plans to ensure that our club effectively navigates a safe path through the health and financial turbulence we are clearly facing.
Scottish football is waiting to see 'what happens next' and 'if and when' the season might resume.
In the meantime, our priority as a club is to look after the welfare of our staff, our players, our supporters and – where we can – our community. With all that is going on, it is difficult to look to the immediate future with any degree of clarity. However, there are some certainties – we have lost our revenue streams, while our ongoing running costs remain largely in place, and we anticipate that we will not be playing matches in the coming months. This is clearly not sustainable.
Although Hibernian is better positioned than most to weather the storm, we are far from immune. Unfortunately, other clubs are facing similar or even more severe problems. The loss of cash in the bank puts our club under the most severe strain and threat. We have already begun making operational adjustments to impact our costs and will be taking further steps over the next week or so to mitigate the effects of the crisis on our club.
Difficult decisions will have to be made. But every decision we do make will be with two key priorities in mind, firstly to look after our people, and, secondly, to ensure the club remains in as healthy a financial position as possible. It is not going to be easy, and we will need every part of the club to play its part to achieve this.
Since my arrival, I have spoken of the concept of 'one team, one club'. The idea that everyone is necessary and indispensable to the success of our club. The fans, players, sponsors, the academy, the ticket office, the communications team, Hibs kids, hospitality, coaches, senior management and the board, - everyone contributes to our success.
It is especially true in difficult and uncertain times like these. We are one team. We are all Hibs!
It was just a few weeks ago that we presented an ambitious and exciting vision and five-year plan for our club. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has turned our world upside down, therefore we have all had to pause, to reflect. Gratefully, football will be back before long, and with your help and support our club will be back strong, ready to compete and bring joy, excitement and pride to our supporters and city.
If there is one thing that is very clear to me, it is that Hibernian supporters everywhere love their club. If we all persevere and act with a common purpose, we will endure. It is what sustains us!
Thank you for your continued support.