Date: 13th November 2012 at 11:13pm
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As Vital Hibs reported this morning, the stadium PA announcer at Easter Road, named as Willie Docherty, was indeed dismissed by the club for playing the tune ‘Taxman’ by the Beatles as a cheeky joke at rivals Hearts.

However the club have moved quickly to dismiss claims they have undertaken a humour bypass, insisting the announcer disregarded pre-match instructions from the club.

The full club statement can be seen on the official website, however it reads :

Hibernian FC today moved to address supporter concerns around action taken by the Club against the Stadium Announcer.

The Club stressed that speculation that the action had been taken as a song played may have offended supporters of another club is not correct.

Rather the action has been taken because the individual chose to wilfully disregard specific instructions given in the pre-match briefing which itself was consistent with guidance given during the week in the run-up to the match at Easter Road Stadium on Sunday, which was broadcast live on television.

The stadium announcer is not an employee of the Club, but is contracted to provide the service. In doing so, he operates as part of the Club’s official channels of communications – which also includes the Club website and match day programme.

Under SPL and SFA rules, the Club is directly responsible for what the Stadium Announcer does, says and plays. For that reason, the Club has specific guidelines in place and before each match detailed briefings take place.

These reflect the values and behaviour’s the Club and its Supporters believe Hibernian FC should stand for. The conduct of other clubs is a matter for them.

Before our recent home match against Dundee United discussions took place and specific instructions were given. The individual concerned has admitted that he deliberately breached the terms of the instructions the Club had given. The Club was left with no option but to take the course of action it did.

This is not an issue about having or not having a sense of humour. Nor is it a decision based on whether supporters of other clubs have or do not have a grievance with what happened.

What is important is that those delivering official communications on behalf of Hibernian FC act in a way which the Club sees as both appropriate and professional.

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