Hibs sack stadium announcer over half-time taxman joke about Hearts
The Leith club terminated the employee's contract after he played The Beatles song.
Hibernian FC have sacked their stadium announcer after he poked fun at their rivals Hearts’ financial woes.
The Leith club confirmed they had terminated Willie Docherty’s contract following the incident at Easter Road stadium.
At half time during Hibs’ Scottish Premier League tie against Dundee United on Sunday, Taxman by The Beatles was played.
The song was played for a short time during the interval before being cut off.
It was played in reference to the financial troubles at Heart of Midlothian FC, which has seen the club facing a winding up petition from HM Revenue and Customs over a £450,000 unpaid tax bill.
Hearts are also involved in a First Tier Tax Tribunal against HMRC over £1.75m relating to taxes owed over the club’s use of players on loan from Vladimir Romanov’s Lithuanian team FBK Kaunas.
A Hibernian spokesman said: "The stadium announcer’s contract has been terminated following a breach of conduct."
Fans have taken to social media sites to show their support for the announcer. A Facebook campaign entitled Bring Back Willie Docherty has been set up and the hashtag #JusticeForWillieDocherty has been used on Twitter.
Sacked for having good banter? #JusticeForWillieDocherty— Catriona Ross (@CatrionaRoss) November 13, 2012
Respect to the boys in maroon who can actually take banter! #justiceforwilliedocherty— Chloé Fay. (@StandByChloe) November 13, 2012
#justiceforwilliedocherty Come on, Hibs. This is nonsense.— Colbangers (@Colbangers) November 13, 2012
Hibs are currently top of the SPL table following the 2-1 win over Dundee United.