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Cuts expected at Hibernian as club adapts to ‘havoc’ caused by Covid-19 crisis

Easter Road – Home of Hibernian Football Club
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Hibernian have warned of cuts amid “substantial and unsustainable strain” on their finances.

The Scottish Premiership club have begun a consultation process with staff as they adapt to the “havoc” the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked.

Hibs announced on April 3 that senior staff and players had agreed to wage deferrals of 20-50 per cent but Jack Ross and his squad could now be asked to take lasting cuts.

The Edinburgh side have told fans that “difficult choices must be considered to reduce costs to protect the future of Hibernian”.

A statement added: “We are today embarking on a process of consultation with our people over proposals to find cost reductions.

“This is no different from any other business in this economy, many of which have already taken steps to protect their future. We must all recognise that the club must be financially sustainable.

“With no clear end in sight and a full return to football in stadia full of supporters likely to be in 2021, there has been, and there will continue to be, a substantial and unsustainable strain on the club’s finances.

“We forecast that our revenues will be halved in 2020-21 and we anticipate a significant loss for the current season that was cut short in March, despite the support shown by fans so far.

“That is the reality we face, and the continued uncertainty and restrictions mean our current cost structure is not sustainable.”

Hibernian fans at Easter Road

Hibernian fans at Easter Road (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Hibs have sold about 8,500 season tickets but social-distancing rules will have a major impact on gate receipts.

Chairman Ronald Gordon said: “We’re all excited that football is returning – but it will be behind closed doors, with likely limited attendance as a next phase.

“That means we continue to endure limited revenue opportunities for the foreseeable future. Therefore, several initiatives, activities and services at our club need to be paused or scaled back until it is safe, permissible and financially prudent for us to resume activity.

“We must now focus our limited resources on our core business – and that is supporting our first team to deliver success on the pitch.”