This was a season which many fans feared Hibs would never see. By the end of it some might have been wishing they’d never seen any of it themselves. Instead of leaping Lazarus-like from the grave and letting the sheer joy of being alive suffuse our football with carefree abandon, we emerged from the summer’s trauma to plod through the season like stupefied zombies, more undead than alive.
Hibs ended in ninth place, having scored the pitiful total of 24 goals in 36 games. It was not until 28 January that we managed to score more than a single goal in a game. A 2-0 away defeat of Clyde in the Scottish Cup proved to be the first of only four games when we managed two or more scores within the 90 minutes. We were the Treble-Chance Kings with more draws than any other team. And we suffered two humiliating defeats from Hearts at Easter Road, doubly painful in the aftermath of the takeover bid when every Hibee wanted to rub Wallace Mercer’s smug Tory pus in the dirt. And then bury him in it.
There were scarcely any highlights to celebrate, if our continuing existence was excluded from reasons to be cheerful. The expansion to a 12-team premier league and the suspension of relegation was decided at the beginning of February, rendering the remaining thirteen fixtures utterly meaningless. Crowds understandably plummeted, hitting a low of 3,791 for the visit of Dundee United in April. The end of the season that nearly never was couldn’t come quick enough for most.