Andrew Abbott's Blog

Monday, 17 December 2012

Hibee Jeebies.

Hibernian v Motherwell.

For a Lincoln City fan adopting Hibernian Football Club as your “other” club is perhaps a bit too close to home although this season at Easter Road has been a lot better than last when Hibs got to the Scottish Cup Final only to be thrashed by the detested Hearts and they also damn near got relegated.

The hopeless Colin Calderwood was replaced by Irishman Pat Fenlon, never a bad move for a club formed by Ex Pat Irish workers, and the team have had a more structured look and even graced the top of the SPL at one point but have, worryingly, lost a bit of form of late. Who better to play next then, to get the show back on the road, than Motherwell, one place above them in the league?

It was all going so well too despite the on loan Griffiths missing a sitter but eventually, man of the match Doyle capped a generally effective performance with a goal in the first half and another, a very well taken effort when one on one with the keeper, in the second half.

They say two nil is a dangerous scoreline and so it proved when Motherwell got a foot back into the game and such was Hibernians jitters upon conceding that it looked pretty certain that if the Steelmen got an equaliser they would not stop there, so it proved and Hibs went into the vital Christmas and new year programme in fourth place with Motherwell second. From two nil up they lost by the odd goal in five.

In the bar afterwards I managed to get the blame for the defeat on the basis that Hibs lost last time I was there. Suspicious lot the Irish, especially ones with Scots accents but anyway they did not lose on my last visit so you can put the wicker man away.

There’s a popular misconception that the Scottish Premier League is just a little behind the English one when it comes to TV money. It’s not. I read somewhere that Celtic amassed £2m from TV income last season. By comparison relegated Wolves got in excess of £50m yet the expectation is still there.

Hibs get by on a hotchpotch of Irish League players and a smattering from English sides, players that can’t get a game in England, usually Scots or Irish. Griffiths is a Wolves player and Hibs are heavily reliant on him. Wolves may well want to sell him and with a gate like that present at Easter Road, under 9000 in a city of about half a million it’s hard to see where the club are going to find the resources to prise a player who has done well in Scotland, from wealthier Southern competitors.

Football in Edinburgh, like Glasgow, is divided on religious lines. If you’re Catholic, especially from Irish descent, you follow Hibs. If you’re not you follow Hearts and therein lies the problem for Hibernian. There’s very little cross sectarian support, however well the team does. Hibs Wikipedia entry says otherwise and it would certainly help if more fans could be persuaded to adopt this enigmatic and friendly club as their own. As for those lads in the bar, my Grandmother was Irish, and a Catholic. I’ll see you in August.

Easter Road. A few less empty seats would help.

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