HIBERNIAN have denied that they are up for sale after reports that a potential buyer had been “encouraged” by Rod Petrie, the club’s chairman, to make an offer.
While a “handful” of parties have approached the club since they were relegated at the end of last season, insiders are anxious to stress that they are not actively pursuing a sale.
The latest consortium linked with a takeover at Easter Road involves Malcolm McPherson, a former Hibs chairman, Frank Lynch, former owner of Carlisle-based non-league club Celtic Nation, and David Low, a financial adviser. Together, they are offering to purchase Sir Tom Farmer’s shares in HFC Holdings, the club’s parent company. The bid is thought to be worth around £3.5 million.
“I have made an offer for Hibernian Football Club on behalf of a group of investors,” said Low, who was involved in Fergus McCann’s takeover of Celtic. “We were encouraged to make an offer by Mr Petrie and we have met his nominated advisers for discussion. Beyond that, the ball is in their court.”
That statement has frustrated insiders at the club, who insist that while Farmer would engage positively with anyone who believed that they could take the club forward, he was not seeking a sale.
“The idea that Rod Petrie is somehow out there encouraging bids for the club is incorrect,” said the source, who added: “Some of the things being said in all of this are not correct. The club is not being actively sold or marketed. Sir Tom is not looking to sell it and by that I don’t mean he would refuse to. He’s just not actively trying to sell.”
Ex-Hibs player Paul Kane is part of a proposed community buy-out of the club. After talks with Sir Tom, the first proposal was rejected. They have yet to return with a new offer.