The Petrie Out campaign group will ask Sir Tom Farmer, the owner of Hibernian, to oust a chairman who Jackie McNamara senior has labelled a "charlatan".

McNamara joined former players Paul Kane, Pat Stanton, Mickey Weir and Mike McDonald in delivering rousing addresses to the 1500 crowd that gathered on Saturday outside Easter Road to call for Rod Petrie to be removed from office.

Hibs legend Jimmy O'Rourke was in attendance, while Kenny McLean junior - son of the former vice- chairman of the same name who fronted the Hands Off Hibs campaign - also spoke to the supporters.

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McNamara offered a savage assessment of how he feels Hibs, who were relegated to the SPFL Championship following a pitiful play-off defeat by Hamilton, are being managed. McNamara, who played for Hibs between 1976 and 1985, said: "The fans love the club and I don't think they will want to hurt them financially. But it's the same as the Rangers situation, they are getting strung along and being asked to pay for season tickets while there are charlatans running their club, and I think there are a few charlatans running our club.

"A lot of people have lost their jobs but I think Rod Petrie is the one that should lose his. When the punters pay, they want some transparency; they want to see where the money is going because it has obviously not been invested in the playing staff."

Just as protesters gathered for an 11.30am start, the Working Together fans umbrella group met with Leeann Dempster, the new chief executive, inside Easter Road to express their concerns over Petrie's continued presence on the board.

In his speech, former Hibs midfielder Kane urged Dempster to prove she has full autonomy when it comes to running the club by axing the long-serving Petrie. Dempster, the former Motherwell chief executive, rightly pointed out that her authority does not stretch that far.

"How can a chief executive remove a chairman?" she asked. "There is a process and a board of directors. It brings a very simplistic perspective view - and I don't mean that to be taken in a derisory way. There is a lack of understanding over how a board operates. Rod is a board member here. He's a non-executive chairman, that's how we operate."

Following the Working Together meeting, Mike Riley - chairman of the Hibs Supporters Association - claimed the club were heading into a financial black hole should Petrie remain on the board. He said: "There were 31 people at the meeting and it was made very clear that [Dempster's] job could be easier and she could have a lot more money to spend on quality players if Rod Petrie leaves the club. There are 5000-6000 supporters waiting to buy their season books, but only if Petrie quits."

With Petrie showing no appetite to comply with the campaign group's requests, Kane insisted they would ask majority shareholder Farmer to intervene. But the apparent unyielding relationship between Farmer and Petrie suggests that request has little chance of being entertained.

As Hibs noted in a statement last week, Petrie is the conduit between the club and owner. Petrie also possesses a 10% stake in Hibs, with Farmer owning the remaining 90%.