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Push to oust Petrie

Former Hibs midfielder Paul Kane says the "Petrie Out" campaign group will demand the removal of chairman Rod Petrie by club owner Sir Tom Farmer.

As chief executive Leeann Dempster met supporters group Working Together inside Easter Road stadium yesterday morning, Kane and fellow ex-players spoke to 1500 fans at a rally outside.

Kane is leading a drive to oust Petrie in the wake of Hibs' relegation to the Championship, blaming him for the club's deep-rooted malaise.

Those who gathered outside the stadium voted with a show of hands for Petrie's removal and Kane got a mandate to move on to a meeting with former Kwik Fit tycoon Farmer.

Kane said: "Leeann Dempster will have a major decision now because if you look at the size of the crowd, look at the size of the support, if she is telling us she has the autonomy to make decisions for the betterment of Hibernian Football Club, she should tell Rod Petrie to go.

"If he doesn't go, we will have to see what the reaction is from the fans; stage two is go into dialogue with the club to see what they want to do with that kind of fan base.

"We will ask the owner Sir Tom Farmer for a meeting to see what he wants to do with the support."

Asked if supporters could buy Petrie's removal - he has a 10 per cent stake in the club - Kane replied: "The question that has to be asked is what does Sir Tom Farmer want to do with his majority shareholding? Does he want to … pass it to the fans?

"If that's the case we'll get involved and we'll do our best for the club. If he wants to do it another way, then we'll also try to help him."

After meeting Dempster, Mike Riley, chairman of the Hibs Supporters Association, said: "It was made very clear her 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 to 6000 supporters waiting to buy their season books, but only if Petrie quits."

Dempster said: "How can a chief executive remove a chairman? There is a process and a board of directors. It brings a very simplistic perspective - and I don't mean that to be in derisory way.

"There is a lack of understanding over how a board operates … I understand their position and I hear it but I said to everyone that we need to get on with football business … there is a bigger dynamic."

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