A busy time for the Hibs and Hearts PR machines


Mixu PaatelainenO'Donnell tribute

There’s not been much for football fans in Edinburgh to sing about recently – both Hibs and Hearts are in freefall in the league and can’t string a decent performance together between them.

So the green half of the city will no doubt be breathing a sigh of relief today at the upbeat news that Mixu Paatelainen has been appointed as new Hibs manager. The Easter Road outfit have been rudderless since the end of John Collins’ short lived reign. Good luck to Finn Mixu, who was popular with the supporters during his time as a player at Hibs.

No doubt the latest developments have been keeping my old colleague, David Forsyth, extremely busy. David was the experienced hack who took me and fellow trainee  Barbie Dutter, under his wing, when we arrived, wide eyed and overawed at the Evening News in July 1988, to take up our jobs as trainee reporters. David is an all round good guy who now runs his own media companny, and most of his time is which sees him spend most of his time as the PR man for Hibs.

Meanwhile another football PR man with a challenging job is Paul Kiddie at Hearts, who has has the unenviable task of handlling the massive media interest in the Gorgie team, much of which is generated by the barking and twinkle-toed club owner, Vladimir Romanov.

I don’t know Mr Kiddie, who formerly worked as a sports reporter on the Edinburgh Evening News. But I enjoy seeing his regular press releases and media updates, which are resolutely cheerful and good humoured – like the series of funny monkey-related gags he squeezed into his press releases after bonkers Romanov labelled the Scottish sports media pack a bunch of chimpanzees.

There don’t seem to be many Jambos who are managing to remain quite so cheerful in the face of adversity. The pall of gloom over Tynecastle shows no signs of lifting.

However, the supporters can at least take a bit of pride in their team’s efforts to turn this weekend’s Scottish cup tie against Motherwell into a fitting tribute to the Lanarkshire team’s former skipper, Phil O’Donnell. His sudden death after collapsing on the pitch left the football world in mourning. He was clearly well-thought off, as the turn out of the great and the good at his recent funeral (view pictures here) clearly demonstrated.

Hearts have produced a special commemorative programme for the occasion, with all proceeds raised going to benefit O’Donnell’s grieving widow and their children. Lets hope plenty of the fans dig deep to buy up copies for a player, who by all accounts as a gentleman and a superb ambassador for the sport.


One thought on “A busy time for the Hibs and Hearts PR machines

  1. I’m no fan of the club programme which I generally think is pretty poor compared to some other clubs, but like yourself, applauded the sentiment over at http://milnemedia.typepad.com/diary_of_a_hearts_fan/
    Hearts this season finally seem to have learned that what they are seen to do in public is just as, if not more important, than hat goes on behind the scenes, no doubt sparked by the reaction from fans two years ago when senior staff failed to turn up at the War Memorial service in Haymarket provoking a huge outcry. I’m pleased they are moving in the right direction and hope they keep it up.

    As for Mixu at Hibs. Brilliant. Just in time for us to snatch three points from the Docksiders next weekend!

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