Jack Ross should be having a good week.
His team were fabulous on Sunday, punching out their cup finals opponents before half-time (as confirmed by one of their players) and securing a chance at silverware in the All Green Final at Hampden.
All the motivation you should ever need for such a match has been presented to he and his players; the chance to hoist that famous trophy and stick it in the cabinet. What else do Hibs want?
It will make them the third most successful Scottish team of the last ten years.
But Ross would rather, it seems, stoke phony grievances than enjoy the moment. He has said that Hibs will use the injustice of their ticket allocation as their motivation.
Really? They need to be stuck with a cattle prod before they feel sufficiently ready for battle?
You know, I understand their sense of frustration at the ticketing issue but he has to understand that we have our sense of this too.
Hibs sold 11,000 season tickets at the start of this campaign; that’s a great total for them.
But they have been offered 17,000 cup final tickets … that’s every season ticket holder and regular attendee at Easter Road guaranteed one and there’ll still be enough left for them that each pair can bring a mate along on the day.
There are 55,000 season ticket holders at Celtic Park.
We’re getting the bulk of what remains, yes, but the only way to really satisfy demand here is if they stage a Hunger Games before the final and let us fight to the death over them.
Hibs want to talk about injustice whilst half of our season ticket holders aren’t going to be at the match.
And that’s how it has to be. I’d no more expect every ticket for Hampden than Hibs should expect half of the ground.
Nobody is going to be satisfied here, but some sense of proportion is surely not too much to ask.
All we ask is that people look at this sensibly.
Yes, Hibs could have sold a lot more tickets but isn’t that part of the problem here?
Easter Road itself holds more than 20,000. How often do they fill it?
Where are these fans who are so desperate for cup final tickets that they can’t turn up every other week? Why can’t they? Why can’t they make the effort to attend the ground and give their manager that kind of support on a regular basis?
This argument is had constantly, and always it is had on a false premise. Celtic fans – and those of the team across town – not only fill our own stadiums but stadiums up and down the country every single week, and we are charged outrageously for basically propping some of these other clubs up with twice a year visits at extortionate prices.
And this has created a false impression which ought to be corrected.
It’s as if there’s a view that our fans are somehow richer than the home fans, that because our clubs are more wealthy that we are as well. We aren’t.
It’s as if being a Celtic fan rather than a Hibs fan means you’re less likely to work on a Saturday and Sunday; that’s not true either.
It’s as if being a Celtic supporter rather than an Aberdeen supporter frees you from some of the commitments and responsibilities of life in a way others don’t enjoy.
But Celtic fans, by and large, don’t have special status or unlimited resources, and we are not more capable of attending games regularly than supporters of other clubs; we choose to.
There is no reason why all these Hibs fans and Aberdeen fans and others who sing this tale of woe before semis and finals time after time could not attend their own grounds every week.
But they choose not to.
My view on this has hardened over the years, to the point where I think that if you aren’t going to back your team regularly then you’ve got a damned cheek demanding parity with the guys at other clubs who are and who do.
Lastly, if this was a Scottish Cup Final there would be a 50/50 split … and what would the outcome of that be? By the time Hampden had divided out its concession tickets the ordinary fans would be left with around 40,000 tickets out of the 51,000 in the ground. So Hibs wouldn’t be getting, under those circumstances, all that more than they are right now.
So honestly, I don’t know what this moaning is all about.
I appreciate Ross’s point of view, although I don’t think he should be talking about using a confected controversy as motivation. If his team needs that spark before a cup final then frankly they are beaten already.
But it would be nice if, every once in a while, these clubs would look through the telescope to the other side and see it the way we do.
Half of the people I know from the football will be spending cup final day in the pub.
There’s a good chance that I’m going to be with them.
For those Easter Road attendees who want to be at Hampden, there will be tickets falling from the sky.
Why isn’t that enough?
Why isn’t that justice of a sort he can live with?