Club chairman Allan Maitland has written the following open letter to the Accies supporters following our recent relegation to the Scottish Championship.
To all our supporters,
I have chosen to take a few days to gather my thoughts after what was a difficult evening in Dingwall on Wednesday. I feel the match against Ross County was indicative of the way our season has played out in that the team effort and attitude was excellent from the first whistle to the last. However, like so many games this season, we were unable to get the goals and result we desperately needed.
As our longest run of consecutive seasons in the Premiership has come to an end everyone at the club understands and shares the disappointment, which you will undoubtably be feeling at this time.
Now is the time for reflection, to identify where we can improve and what changes are required to give ourselves the best opportunity of competing successfully in the Championship next season. We are under no illusions of how difficult the Championship will be and remember vividly the massive effort needed by the players at the end of the seasons when we were successful – not least the incredible day at Easter Road. Equally a glance at the struggles being experienced by most of the teams who have been relegated highlights the magnitude of the task ahead.
It is my belief that there have been several significant events that have gone against us throughout this season and contributed hugely to our relegation. We can’t use them as excuses because the poorest team in the league will inevitably finish bottom, but we will try to learn not to repeat our mistakes and use the others as motivation to succeed. What I will say is that, despite the constant knocks, the spirt and determination of the players has been fantastic and that speaks volumes for the entire squad and the efforts of Brian Rice, his coaches and all the staff working closely with the team.
Going forward, if we expect to succeed, it will be vital that club continues to produce first team players through the Youth Academy and that the kids are given the opportunity and time to develop. Our Academy Director, George Cairns, and the established bank of coaches and scouts are responsible for creating the best environment possible for these young kids to develop and providing them with the best possible chance to succeed as a professional footballer.
The Academy will continue to be the future of our Club and our commitment to it will not be diminished in any way following our relegation.
We were delighted to see the role Jamie Smith and Marley Redfern played in our match against Kilmarnock yesterday. I believe credit must go to goalkeeping coach Brian Potter for the role he has played in developing Jamie as a player. To save a penalty on your debut shows the quality he possesses as a player.
To see Marley getting on the ball in midfield and having the courage to always be looking forward is fantastic. We believe this is just one of a number of reasons to be excited about next season.
The end of our stay in the top-flight is effectively the end of an era but also presents the opportunity to create new memories. The positive news of fans returning to stadiums gives us a fantastic chance to start again, to bond as a club and its supporters should do. Doing this will allow us to move together as one. We look forward to the day you can return to the stadium and give Brian and the squad the support they need as they aim to get us back to where we now feel we belong.