LEEANN Dempster, the Hibernian chief executive, last night refused to rule out the Easter Road club shutting down a stand after James Tavernier, the Rangers captain, was assaulted by one of their supporters at the side of the pitch.

A fan jumped over the advertising hoarding and confronted the right back as he went to retrieve the ball shortly after the Ibrox club had taken the lead just before half-time before being apprehended by a steward and led away by police.

Dempster apologised to Tavernier personally after the Ladbrokes Premiership match and stressed the individual responsible would never be allowed to attend a game at the Edinburgh ground again.

However, the incident happened in front of the East Stand - where a glass bottle had been thrown at Celtic winger Scott Sinclair in a William Hill Scottish Cup tie six days earlier. A club official confirmed an additional 50 stewards had been drafted in for the top flight game.

Asked if Hibs would consider closing a stand as a result of the flashpoint, Dempster said: “I think this is a challenge for the whole game, but we are in the middle of it. I don’t think anything is off the table, to be honest.

“Instead of talking about a good game of football we are talking about an idiot - again. So nothing can be off the table.

“If there’s a case to be answered then we will deal with the SFA and the SPFL. But I’m not thinking about that just now. I’m sitting here embarrassed because a supporter has come over the advertising hoarding and confronted a player. These are high profile matches and it’s not good.”

Seats appeared to be ripped out and thrown onto the pitch by Rangers fans after Tavernier was confronted, but Dempster said: “I’m not aware of any seats being damaged and I’m not interested in that.

“I apologised (to Tavernier) on behalf of the club. I told him the individual was in custody. I said to him we were embarrassed by it and James was gracious and took our apology.

“Given everything we have talked about and what has been said and written in the past six days I find it astonishing I have to talk about another incident.

“I was going to call him a supporter, but I don’t think you can call people like that supporters. To come onto the pitch and confront a player . . . I can use the word unacceptable, but that isn’t strong enough.

"The person you saw is in custody, where he should be as far as I’m concerned, and we’ll find out more about it, but he won’t come to another football match at Easter Road. Ever. That is within our gift to deliver.

“There is security there and there are briefings and it is unfair perhaps on us and other clubs when idiots like this who are determined manage to get through and do what they do. Clubs work really hard to try and stop this type of behaviour and it is astonishing it has happened for the second time in a week given what happened last Saturday.

"I had to write to Celtic and Scott Sinclair to apologise and I’ve had to apologise to James down-stairs. We should be talking about football.

“We absolutely comply with the requirements of the Green Guide and all that is associated with that. There is no opportunity to suggest the club don’t take that seriously. We’ve delivered thousands of safe matches here at Easter Road and I need to see all the footage to see how he managed to get over but you’re talking about someone who seemed to be pretty determined.”