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A Stronger Scotland Part 7 – History Made

Our return to the Premiership has seen us triumph in Scotland’s top-flight division with a title winning campaign, the first time Hibernian have lifted the trophy since 1952. It’s been a record breaking season with continental football secured and a number of accolades collected along the way.
Sir Alex Ferguson last won the Scottish Premier Division with Aberdeen in 1985

Sir Alex Ferguson last won the Scottish Premier Division with Aberdeen in 1985

A Momentous Occassion

We’ve done it, champions of Scotland in just two seasons! This is the first time a club other than Celtic or Rangers has won the Scottish Premiership since Sir Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen in 1985. We’ve knocked Celtic off the mantelpiece, putting an end to their five season run as defending champions. Decades of Old Firm dominance has finally been halted with a new team to grace the throne of Scottish football. Ultimately we conquered in comfort, having secured the title with five games to spare, which presented a welcome opportunity to feature some of our youth prospects as we approached the close season. Though we went out early in both cup competitions we finnished off a nearly invincible league season, losing just three game.

Qualifying for the Champions League will undoubtedly secure our finances for the next few years. We’ve reached the qualifying stages so there is still plenty of work to be done on that front, but having struggled to balance the books these last two seasons with minimal income it’ll be refreshing to peruse our financial statements when European competition revenue kicks in.

Just Rewards

Jason Cummings (Fans’ Player of the Season, Young Player of the Season and Scottish Players’ Player of the Year) had a scintillating season smashing several coveted goalscoring records with 47 goals from 37 games. He beats Hibernian’s previous record holder, Joe Baker, for most goals in a league season (42 back in 1959) and ex Celtic legend Henrik Larsson’s record for most goals in a season (35 back in 2001).

On-loan Sheyi Ojo claimed the Scottish Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year with an average rating of 7.55. There was also a Scottish Football Writers’ Player of the Year award for on-loan Ryan Gauld (average rating: 7.75) and I picked up the Manager of the Year and Writers’ Manager of the Year awards with an 84% win ratio. Even the Scottish Premiership Goal of the Season went to one of our players, Martin Boyle, on loan at Dundee for the season.

Scottish Premiership end of season 2 league table 16/17

A Stronger Scotland?

I’d say so! The pattern has been broken with a new champion stepping forward. This season saw us, Celtic and Aberdeen pushing for the title for a large portion of the season (until we ran away with it towards the end). Celtic ended the season trophyless, which ultimately costed Ronny Deila his job. St. Johnstone won the Scottish League Cup, Hearts the Scottish Cup, and Rangers confirmed their Premiership status after lifting the Championship title (Falkirk make it through the playoff, sending Ross County down).

Next years Scottish Premiership is looking stronger than ever.

After hearing of the transfer embargo Jason Cummings struggles to hide his disappointment

The Bad News

Pre season preparations have been thrown into chaos with a takeover move, which saw the board enforce a transfer embargo throughout pre-season. A number of last seasons top performers (such as Gauld and Ojo), who were on loan for the season, have since left and are unavailable for a return. The squad has been massivly depleted and many transfer targets missed out on. It’s going to be a momentous challenge to repair the damage, all with a Champions League qualifyer against Red Star Belgrade looming over the horizon.