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Kane: Turnout for protest rally will reveal if fans have faith in Dempster

Paul Kane insists the size of Saturday's 'Petrie Out' rally will be the clearest signal yet of whether Hibernian supporters believe new chief executive Leeann Dempster's declaration that she is now fully in charge of the embattled club.

Kane: 'We must get it right now'
Kane: 'We must get it right now'

Campaigners seeking the removal of chairman Rod Petrie were yesterday on the look-out for a new venue for this weekend's planned demonstration after the club refused them access to Easter Road.

The capital side have cited a lack of clarity on numbers and the protestors' plans, pitch and stadium maintenance work, as well as health and safety issues as their reasons for knocking back a request to open up the 6000-capacity east stand at the ground on Saturday morning. The 'Petrie Out' group were last night investigating taking their get-together to either Meadowbank Stadium or Leith Links.

The rally was organised to coincide with a meeting between Dempster and the Working Together umbrella group of fans' representatives in a bid to show the club's new CEO the strength of feeling against Petrie.

Kane, who has indicated he will attend the rally and not the talks with Dempster, which he is invited to in his role with the Hibs Former Players Association, is adamant the change of location will not dilute the impact of the demonstration.

"I think how many people turn up on Saturday will show whether the fans believe Leeann's statement about having the freedom to make the decisions she wants," he said.

"Having not been allowed into Easter Road, we're now having to look at an alternative venue. But wherever it is, it is about shaping the future of the club.

"If we get it right now, our voice will be heard forever more. If we get it wrong, then I think the supporters will be diluted probably even worse than we are just now. I'm sure the change of venue won't put the Hibs fans off, wherever it is to be. It will only be another five minutes away and if the numbers turn up then I'm sure it will still have the same impact.

"The reaction since Friday's launch has been very positive, but it's the same with everything else, people saying they're going to come and people turning up is a different story.

"What has been encouraging is that a lot of lapsed supporters, who have not been to Easter Road in a long, long time, have said they're going to come along."

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