League runners-up five seasons running, back-to-back Scottish Women’s Premier League Cups, the knock-out stages of the Champions League- few could argue that Hibernian Football Club should be proud of their women’s exploits.
The unfortunate reality, however, is that despite being one of the most successful women’s teams in Scotland, the club has failed to give the side the necessary promotion, funding and appreciation it so rightfully deserves.
Despite finishing just three points behind league winners Glasgow City last season, which saw them lose just one game all season, eight players left the club, enhancing Scott’s frustration and leading to his eventual resignation.
Kevin Milne, Scott’s predecessor re-iterated his discontent. “I feel like the team has been neglected,” he said. He has warned that unless whole-scale changes are made in terms of the running of the club, they will struggle to compete in the future.
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Scotland international and star-midfielder Jamie-Lee Napier is the latest to part ways with Hibernian after signing for Chelsea. Napier was the SWPL player of the year last season and recently made her debut for the national team. She has scored 22 goals in 33 games this season from midfield and her loss will no doubt increase the troubles the side are facing.
Whilst a number of clubs have begun to be taken in-house by their parent club, including rivals Hearts, talks between Hibernian and the Hibs Community Trust who currently run the club have yet to make headway. Rangers and Celtic are both set to introduce paid professional contracts, whilst Glasgow City is also looking to go full-time.
With other clubs taking steps in the right direction, it is clear why the management has been feeling aggrieved. If Hibs don’t take action in the near future, then the prospect of more silverware looks increasingly unlikely.