RON GORDON has vowed to ‘stand behind’ Hibernian stars in the wake of sweeping salary deferrals.
The Easter Road owner has spoken of his pride after first-team players agreed to forego 20 to 50 per cent of their pay-packets during the coronavirus crisis.
Gordon held comprehensive talks with chief executive Leeann Dempster, sporting director Graeme Mathie and club captain David Gray – and is adamant the request for employees to defer wages was entirely ‘voluntary’.
It is understood Hibs’ senior players such as Gray, Paul Hanlon and Darren McGregor were key to striking a deal and, like many other high-earners, are at the upper end of the deferral scale.
And Gordon intends to reimburse all those left out of pocket after the dressing room unilaterally agreed to the proposal.
He said: “It was a week ago that I managed to have a phone conversation with manager Jack Ross, David Gray and Graeme Mathie to discuss how the players could support the club financially through this difficult time.
“It was on a voluntary basis that the club was asking.
“I’m very proud and grateful to say that every single player stepped up and has been willing to support the club during this time.
“They have stood behind the club and, I can assure them, the club will stand behind them.”
The majority of the club’s staff have also been placed on furlough leave, meaning the UK Government will pay 80 per cent of their salary as part of their Job Retention Scheme.
And Gordon believes Hibs have been ‘leaders’ in how they have handled the challenges of the Scottish football shutdown.
Gordon continued: “Leeann [Dempster] and the senior staff have been very active in the way they have strategised and figured out how we will get through this period and I am very proud to say I think this club has been a leader in this.
“The actions we have taken have underlined our priorities. One: our staff and players, and their well-being, and two: the financial well-being of the club, so that when we are back to football we are in a position to compete.”
Gordon, speaking from his home in Miami, also lavished praise on the club’s supporters after season ticket sales crashed through the 2000-mark just seven days after going on sale.
Remarkably, fans are snapping up their seats at a faster rate than at this point last year – despite ongoing uncertainty regarding when the 2020/21 campaign will actually begin.
Gordon told Hibs’ official website: “It was only a week ago that we started the season ticket campaign and our sales far outpace last year, which is just an indicator of the support you are willing to give the club.
“It’s only been eight months since I took the chairmanship of the club and every single day I feel very blessed and grateful.
“These last few weeks have shown me how much everybody loves their club and what a significant club this is. It makes a difference in everybody’s lives.”