Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian today issued a joint statement, having had time to reflect on the events of last night’s Edinburgh Derby.
The two Clubs are united in their condemnation of the isolated events which marred an otherwise compelling fixture, and will together work with Police Scotland to ensure those individuals concerned are identified and face appropriate sanctions.
Ann Budge, Owner and Chairwoman at Hearts, said: “The first thing I want to say is that we 100% condemn the handful of unsavoury incidents that took place during last night’s Edinburgh Derby. We will work closely with Police Scotland and Hibernian to identify the individuals involved in these incidents to ensure they are banned from attending our two stadiums and appropriate charges may be brought.
“While we condemn such behaviour, we must not fall into the trap of condemning the thousands of genuine football fans, who come to be entertained and who do nothing more than passionately support their respective teams.
“Of the 5 arrests made last night, 1 of them was made possible because fellow supporters identified the culprit. By working together in this manner we will succeed in removing the tiny percentage of fans whose behaviour spoils things for the majority.
“Thank you to the thousands of supporters, from both teams, who created a fantastic atmosphere last night.”
Leeann Dempster, Chief Executive at Hibernian, said: “The two Clubs are united. This kind of behaviour is simply not acceptable. We do everything we can to ensure that we run matches in a way that is safe for everyone involved. Players, coaches, supporters, the media, everyone who goes to a football match is entitled to enjoy the match in safety and security.
“We will not allow the mindless actions of a few foolish individuals to jeopardise that. We will learn any lessons that we can from this, but we would also call on supporters to play their part in helping us to identify those responsible for this kind of unacceptable and potentially dangerous behaviour.
“The two Clubs work together in all kinds of ways, and there is great mutual respect. There is an intense sporting rivalry, and we all enjoy that and would not wish to dilute it, but it needs to be a respectful rivalry.”