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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 17:35 GMT
Farmer backs ground decision
Hibernian owner Sir Tom Farmer has backed his board's decision to stay at Easter Road.

And he doubts that Hearts will choose to go it alone and build a new stadium on his company's land at Straiton.

The two clubs had been considering sharing a ground on the land on the outskirts of Edinburgh, but Hibs have rejected the proposal after consulting their fans.

Hibs believe that they have formulated a business plan that will tackle debts of 15m without having to move from Leith.

And Farmer told the Edinburgh Evening News: "People will recall that, at last month's fans forum, I said that what everyone wanted to see was Hibs managing to stay at Easter Road.

It has been quite clear, with what has been happening on both sides of the city, that it was almost inevitable it was not going to go ahead
Hibs owner Tom Farmer
"What was more important than anything, however, was to ensure Hibs had a secure future.

"I may be one of the few to say this, but I believe the board deserve some credit for looking at this option. They have an obligation to the security and future of the club, they have to explore everything.

"They've done that and that's their decision. I support it 100%.

"I have left it entirely up to the board of the football club. I have not been party to the discussions, as much as people find that hard to believe.

"However, I have to say the announcement did not come as a surprise given a lot of the information which has been coming out, such as Hearts having been in discussion with the SRU about Murrayfield.

Hearts chief executive Chris Robinson this week suggested that his club could yet move to a new stadium at Straiton, despite the Hibs decision and their own negotiations about using the national rugby stadium.

But Farmer said: "I think the board was right to look at the Straiton proposal and to research it, but it has been quite clear over the past few weeks, with what has been happening on both sides of the city, that it was almost inevitable it was not going to go ahead."

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