FORMER Celtic defender Alan Stubbs yesterday held talks with Hibs after being given permission to discuss the vacant manager’s job by Everton.
The Goodison club’s reserve team coach has emerged as a favourite to succeed Terry Butcher in the Easter Road dugout, with some bookmakers even going as far as to suspend betting over the post.
Publicly, Everton were refusing to comment on the speculation last night but sources close to the Merseyside outfit have indicated that the 42-year-old former defender has been in contact with Hibs.
Dumbarton manager Ian Murray, Stuart McCall of Motherwell and former Hibs and Celtic assistant manager Mark Venus have all been linked with the position since Butcher was sacked last Tuesday.
It is thought Stubbs, who played for Celtic between 1996 and 2001, is now a leading candidate for new chief executive Leeann Dempster as she looks for a manager to nurture the club’s youngsters.
Stubbs has been at Everton since 2008 and was overlooked for the vacant manger’s role at Goodison when the club appointed Roberto Martinez to replace David Moyes last summer.
Meanwhile, moves to oust Hibs chairman Rod Petrie gathered pace yesterday when campaign leader Paul Kane sent two proposals to owner Sir Tom Farmer on how the club should be run.
Kane, who has refused to divulge details of his proposals, met with Farmer and Petrie last week.
The former Hibs midfielder, who was joined at last week’s summit by prominent fans Ian Blackford and George Moore, is now waiting for a response from former Kwik-Fit tycoon Farmer after sending his proposals in an e-mail yesterday.
But Hibs fans will have to wait to find out what Kane’s plans are after Farmer insisted that talks between both parties remain confidential.
Kane said: “It was important to open dialogue directly with the club owner and majority shareholder.
“I have now submitted documents outlining our proposals in detail. I am confident Sir Tom will give them full and proper consideration as we hope everyone has the long-term interest of Hibs at heart.
“I would also like to bring the fans up to date about the proposals as soon as we can, but, at this stage, I have agreed to respect Sir Tom Farmer’s request for confidentiality.
“Meanwhile, as the new season draws closer, Hibs fans are concerned about the club’s prospects, so it is important we pushed ahead with our proposals.”
The Petrie Out campaign was set up by Kane in the wake of Hibs’ relegation to the Championship last month.
Petrie, who was brought to the club by Farmer in 1996, has so far refused to step down from his position despite a recent fans rally in which a crowd of around 1,500 gave their backing to the campaign. Club legends Pat Stanton and Jimmy O’Rourke have also sided with the Petrie Out group.
Dempster has promised supporters she has full autonomy when it comes to running the club but the fans, who blame Petrie for the malaise surrounding the Leith outfit, remain sceptical.