HIBERNIAN chairman Rod Petrie took a less than condemnatory tone on the events that followed yesterday’s William Hill Scottish Cup final at Hampden and felt the sight of thousands of the club’s supporters taking to the pitch at full-time was as a result of “114 years of exuberance”.

Two goals from Anthony Stokes and a late header from David Gray delivered the club’s first Scottish Cup triumph since 1902, but the victory was marred by the scenes at the end of the game that included several Rangers players and staff being attacked by Hibs supporters. Contrary to the stance taken by Scottish Football Association president Stewart Regan who described what transpired as “one of the worst incidents of its kind I’ve seen for many years”, Petrie, his SFA vice-president, played down the gravity of the situation as he insisted the focus should be on Hibs’ victory rather than the unsavoury scenes that unfolded afterwards.

Only when pressed did he belatedly agree that it was both “a disappointment” and an “embarrassing”, but would not use the term “disgraceful” and also felt talk of a “perilous situation” unfolding was an exaggeration.

“I think the police and stewards and everyone else at Hampden Park deserve huge credit for the professional manner in which they dealt with the situation at the end,” he said. “One hundred and 14 years of exuberance meant we had to wait a bit longer for the [trophy] presentation. But I think everyone played their part to ensure that there was order throughout that the presentation was able to happen.”

“[When the fans came on the pitch] I was thinking about the vast majority of Hibernian supporters who had come to the ground and were enjoying the day, looking forward to the normal parade and presentation that teams normally receive. So I was deeply disappointed when it happened. But, as I say, I think the authorities reacted in the professional manner you’d expect and were able to take charge of the situation.”

Petrie revealed he had been oblivious to the fact there had been Rangers players attacked. “I am not aware of any complaint but if something has happened to a player or member of staff then that’s a very serious matter. We’ll co-operate fully. I fully expect there will be a detailed examination of what’s happened, to learn the lessons from that. We as a club we stand very ready to contribute to that.

“There were an awful lot of things that happened. I didn't see any physical things. I know there were incursions onto the pitch, whether they happened at both ends, I'm not sure. I take responsibility for what happened and as a club we will participate in a review of what happened, and I'm sorry it happened. But at the end of the day a football match has taken place within a controlled and safe environment and it’s deeply disappointing these events occurred at the end of it. Anyone who can be identified will be punished appropriately. You call it disgraceful, I say it's unacceptable, totally, we don't condone it in any manner whatsoever.”

Manager Alan Stubbs revealed he tried to get the Hibs supporters to return to their seats so the team could be presented with the trophy, and hoped lessons would be learned from what happened.

“Whatever happens we will have to take on the chin and rightly so,” he said. “From my point of view, we have to try and protect the reputation of the football club. It is over-exuberance and relief. You don’t want to see anything like that because on the whole games are very well policed. People will go away – the police, the stewards, and stadium security – and evaluate how the fans got on the pitch. And if there are lessons to be learned from it then great as we don’t want to see that. But I don’t think it’s probably the right time to be pointing the finger.”

Stubbs also revealed he planned on donating his winner’s medal to charity. “My medal will be getting donated and I will auction it off to the highest bidder and it will go to a good cause. I got a letter off a lady who lost a baby in childbirth and she’s trying to raise money for machines so that will be one of them. I’ll maybe limit it to three charities and the money will be split between them.”