Hibernian chairman Ron Gordon has revealed he is battling cancer.
The majority shareholder assured fans he and his family remained committed to the long-term success of the club.
The American-based businessman took over the club in July 2019 and his son, Ian Gordon, heads up the player recruitment team.
In an open letter to fans posted on the Hibs website, 72-year-old Gordon said: “Some of you may have noticed that I have not been at Easter Road in some time. I love the club and I love Edinburgh, and I come to our home in the city as often as possible and go to as many games as I can. That is why I’m writing this letter to you all to explain why I’ve not been around as usual.
“For most of this past year I have been receiving treatment for cancer.
“It has been a difficult time for me and the family, but I’m blessed to have their love and support as we navigate through the challenge. I imagine many of you will have gone through similar times in your own families. We all stick together to get through these difficult times.
“Unfortunately, my treatment has made international travel a little more challenging as I’m sure you will understand.
“However, while undergoing the treatment I’ve remained in daily contact with our chief executive Ben Kensell, who continues to run the club with the support of the board. That will remain the case as we continue to move forward on a variety of initiatives to further advance the club.
“I want to assure you all that our family’s commitment to the club’s long-term success remains absolute, and I will be back with you at Easter Road as soon as my treatment allows.”
Gordon acknowledged fans’ frustrations over recent results – they lost nine out of 11 games recently and suffered a 3-0 home defeat by Hearts in the Scottish Cup – but he added that last weekend’s 6-0 win over Aberdeen “showed that we can be a real force in this league once we manage to achieve some consistency”.
“There have been mistakes, but we are learning from them, and we are working to put things in place to be better going forward,” he added.
“I am very grateful and fully appreciate your continued support of the team and the club.
“As you know, it will take all of us working together to help the club achieve its goals on and off the pitch, so your commitment and engagement is both necessary and very welcomed.”