Hibernian owner Sir Tom Farmer supports Rod Petrie

Rod Petrie
Petrie has frozen staff salaries at the club for three years

Hibernian owner Sir Tom Farmer has given under-fire chairman Rod Petrie a vote of confidence at the club's AGM.

A section of the Hibs support have been calling on Petrie to resign after manager Colin Calderwood's sacking at the weekend.

Defeat by Dunfermline left Hibs just one point off bottom place in the SPL.

But Farmer issued a rallying cry at the end of the AGM, telling the 300-strong crowd: "Rod Petrie is the finest chairman we could possibly have."

Petrie had come in for criticism from some shareholders, with one leading fan telling him: "I have no confidence in this board whatsoever."

Outside Easter Road, before the AGM began, a newly-formed protest group unfurled a banner calling on the Hibs owner to "Get Petrie out now".

Farmer gave his chairman his full support, telling the meeting: "He [Petrie] has a passion for the club that is not recognised. He cares about the club, the players and the supporters."

Farmer also said he was prepared to allow another investor to become involved at Hibs.

"Would I consider someone making an investment? I would if it was for the benefit of the club."

Petrie said that Hibs had received over 40 applicants for the vacant manager's job, and that the board would meet on Wednesday to consider the candidates.

As well as refuting allegations that he interfered with team selection, Petrie told the shareholders: "I'm sorry that Colin Calderwood's appointment was not a success.

"There is no interference from the board. The player budget is his and his alone. No player comes to the club without the express agreement of the manager".

The Hibs chairman also lambasted Edinburgh City Council over suggestions that they could help rivals Hearts with the building of a new stadium.

"We have the craziness of the Council wanting to help build a stadium for Hearts after they have spent all their money on players," he said. "The Council didn't help Hibs with rebuilding our stadium".

Hibs' next game is against Kilmarnock at Easter Road on 19 November when they will hope to have a new manager in place.

Billy Brown has been placed in interim charge until then, and he, along with Michael O'Neill of Shamrock Rovers are among the early candidates to replace Calderwood.

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