Billy hoping for above par performances from SPL newcomers

Billy Hodgins
Billy Hodgins

ONE Hawick man is possibly looking forward to the start of the new Scottish Premier League season this weekend more than most.

As chief executive of newly promoted Dunfermline Athletic, Billy Hodgins is relishing the coming campaign.

And he admitted preparations for their curtain raiser against St Mirren on Monday night – which is being screened live on Sky Sports – have been going well.

He told the Hawick News: “We were last in the SPL in 2007 and it has been a welcome relief to gain promotion this year back to the top tier.

“During the close season our priority has been to completely resurface our pitch and it is now looking exceptionally well for our first SPL game.

“There is obviously a huge buzz around the club with increased season ticket sales and the new strip going on sale last week, which is proving very popular.

“The most notable difference with being in the SPL, even before the season starts, is the increased media attention and we have been working hard to maximise revenue from promoting our brand to local and national advertisers and sponsors.”

Hodgins conceded that the Pars can’t compete with Glasgow giants Rangers and Celtic and Edinburgh pair Hearts and Hibernian when it comes to the transfer market.

But he is confident they can strike a balance on the financial front, while challenging on the park.

He added: “Although performance on the park will be paramount, we need to ensure that our cost base is still prudent and should we face relegation again, then we must be able to quickly adapt financially to the lower division.

“For the immediate future however, it is all about welcoming the big names in Scottish football to East End Park and doing our best to produce attractive football that wins games and I am sure we will surprise a number of people as the season progresses.”