CEO Leeann Dempster hails Hibs fans as season-ticket surge allows boss Neil Lennon to plan ahead

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LEEANN DEMPSTER believes Hibernian can steal a march on their Premiership rivals this summer after hailing fans for already snapping up almost 10,000 season tickets for next term.

The numbers are around 2,000 up on the same time last year when supporters eventually set a record by purchasing 13,500 seats for the current campaign.

With crowds at Easter Road averaging around 18,000 – the highest since the 1950s – Neil Lennon’s side have received fantastic backing as they battle it out with Rangers and Aberdeen for second place in the Premiership.

And Dempster admits the significant season-ticket sales will allow Neil Lennon’s squad plans for next term to be put in place as early as possible.

The chief executive said: “The season-ticket numbers are just phenomenal. We’re delighted we’re over 9,500 now, which, for this point in the season, is just incredible.

“It helps finance the club and helps finance the plans of the club.

“We need to make sure the club is well looked after. Clubs eat money and we need to make sure we continue to feed ourselves and be in the mix for the best players that come towards us and opportunities that come towards us.

“So every extra ticket, every season-ticket makes a huge difference.

“It’s been traditional here that season-tickets have gone early and that’s a massive benefit from a planning perspective, because you’ve got a guarantee that you’re going to get a level of support going forward.

RECRUITMENT

“It allows us to do our business if we want to do it early. Last year we did quite a lot of business early, the first phase being retaining players who were out of contract, before we moved into the new recruitment phase.

“So, it gives us the opportunity to try to make those decisions early and speak to Neil and the recruitment guys positively.”

After winning the Championship last season and ending the club’s Scottish Cup heartache the previous year, Hibs have not lifted any silverware this term.

However, Dempster remains hopeful that supporters will still taste success as the team chases qualification for Europe.

In an interview with Hibs TV, she added: “It was fantastic to be promoted, it was wonderful to win the Scottish Cup and it’s great to be in the top-six, and great to be in a position where at this point in the season we’ve still got the opportunity to participate for something.

“I think supporters are generally happy, excited and looking forward to the close of the season, and hopefully with an anticipation we might achieve that European spot.”

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