The SPL split carries with it much debate, but there would certainly be one club who would not mind to see the back of the league’s annual divisions into top and bottom six.
Hibernian suffer from one of the worst records in the final five games of the season since the league expanded and introduced the format in 2000.
A familiar sense of foreboding may be building around Easter Road as they lost their first two of the final five ties of the season, dragging them back into a relegation scrap with Dunfermline that many believed Pat Fenlon’s men had escaped.
History is not on the side of the men in green. Last season, when Hibs finished tenth, they managed just one point after the split, drawing with St Mirren but suffering losses to St Johnstone, Aberdeen, Inverness and doomed Hamilton.
In 2009/10, a strong campaign for the capital side in which John Hughes led them to fourth spot and European qualification, they could only gain four points from a possible 15 after the league was halved. Losses to Celtic, Rangers and Hearts were punctuated by a victory at Tannadice and the unforgettable 6-6 draw with Motherwell.
A year previously, Hibernian had another top six finish but had just five points to show for some encouraging performances. Their sole win came memorably at Tynecastle, where Derek Riordan put Hearts to the sword, and they held both sides of the Old Firm to draws at Easter Road. Dunfermline and Aberdeen however, found Hibs in less sure form.
A cast back to Dunfermline’s last time in the SPL could also give encouragement to the Pars. Adrift at the foot of the table in 2006/07, they went on a miraculous late run, pulling to within three points of St Mirren. Stephen Kenny’s team saw off Dundee United, Inverness and Motherwell, but a loss to St Mirren finally did for the Fifers, who took the plunge to the First Division.
That same year Hibs finished sixth, grabbing post-split draws with Rangers and Aberdeen but tasting defeat against Celtic, Hearts and Kilmarnock.
What will give the Easter Road followers comfort is their tradition of honing potent attackers. In 2007 Chris Killen notched 13 goals to be one of the SPL’s top marksmen. In 2008/09 Derek Riordan had 12 and Steven Fletcher 11.
The following term saw Anthony Stokes take the league by storm with 21 goals for Hibs, and Riordan scored 13.
This year Garry O’Connor leads the Hibs scoring charts with 11 and is the country’s eighth highest scorer. Leigh Griffiths has eight.
All manner of mitigating circumstances can skew the way that teams finish their season, with many feeling they have nothing to play for and throwing in untested players to gain a taste of top team action.
But the past does prove that Hibernian are lacking in the experience of digging out these post-split results, while Dunfermline have previous for rallying in a big finale.
Pat Fenlon will be looking to his proven strikeforce to gun them to safety. Jim Jefferies on the other hand is placing his faith in a team that has failed for months on end to finally come good.