HIBERNIAN chief executive Leeann Dempster has refused to quash claims the club has reneged on a verbal agreement with midfielder Scott Allan to allow him to move on if a “bigger club” came in for him.
The assurance was allegedly given when the player joined the Easter Road outfit last summer but, while he wants the club to act on it and has handed in a written transfer request in the hope of a move to Rangers, Hibs are adamant they will not sell their key man to Championship rivals Rangers. Dempster said: “I would never discuss the content of a player contract or the discussions around a player contract.
“I won’t confirm or deny any of that.”
Hibs manager Alan Stubbs said he was not party to any of the discussions but questioned the wisdom of relying on a promise that is not committed to writing.
“I wasn’t involved in that discussion so I can’t comment on something if I wasn’t there. To be honest, there have been a lot of things coming out in the press. But I don’t know where they have come from.
“If I would have promised him, it would have been in writing. And I would advise any player out there, never have a verbal agreement with anybody.”
I would advise any player out there, never have a verbal agreement with anybodyAlan Stubbs
But he added that he thought the club had dealt with the situation “fantastically well and with the utmost respect and a lot of dignity” and despite the fact the club are expected to tie up the signing of John McGinn today, Stubbs reiterated the club would not be allowing Allan to move to Ibrox.
“The transfer request is not a personal indictment on me. It is just Scott doing what he is getting told do and what he feels he can do to push the move. But it is irrelevant. It is not going to change anything. I will not fall out with Scott Allan. I will not lose any respect for Scott Allan whatsoever. As far as I’m concerned, he is still a vital member of my squad. The transfer request doesn’t change our position as a football club. We will not do business with Rangers. I don’t how clear I have to be.”
In the wake of vitriolic social media attacks on Allan, which the club has condemned, Dempster also stressed that there was no ill feeling between the board and the player but added that no one should expect the Easter Road club to change their stance.
“He’s within his rights to ask for a transfer, as any player is, and we’re quite within our rights to refuse that. The request has come from a team many perceive to be one of our biggest rivals for promotion this season. It’s a pretty straightforward situation. We’re now trying to get back to football and Scott is very much part of our plans.”
Dempster also hailed the club’s achievement in securing Stubbs and his coaching staff on extended deals, claiming it illustrates the “idea of continuity and ambition and the fact we’re looking to the future”. She added that the club had “been thinking about the bigger ambition and direction of the club and I believe that what Alan and his team have done deserves a new deal. For us it’s about having them committed to the club and I think it’s a massive statement.”