NEW Hibs manager Alan Stubbs has made his first major decision since taking over from Terry Butcher after allowing Ryan McGivern to leave for Port Vale.
The English League One outfit yesterday confirmed the signing – pending international clearance – of the Northern Ireland internationalist on a two-year deal, the 24-year-old becoming the 15th player to depart Easter Road this summer.
The left-sided defender initially joined Hibs on a season-long loan from Manchester City in 2012 before inking a permanent two-year deal the following year.
Stubbs, who only succeeded Butcher last week, is happy for the move to go through, despite being left with only 14 recognised first-team players.
A Port Vale spokesperson said: “Port Vale are delighted to announce that centre-back Ryan McGivern has signed for the club on a two-year deal.”
McGivern made a total of 70 appearances in two seasons at the Leith outfit, scoring once.
Stubbs’ predecessor Butcher oversaw the departures of 15 players prior to his sacking last month.
Ben Williams, James McPake, Kevin Thomson, Tom Taiwo, Paul Cairney, Alan Maybury, Sean Murdoch, Bradley Donaldson, David Gold, Paul Grant and Dean Horribine were all axed, while Daniel Boateng, Danny Haynes and Duncan Watmore returned to their parent clubs.
Cairney yesterday joined Kilmarnock on a two-year deal. The 26-year-old striker made the switch from Partick Thistle to Hibs two years ago and impressed in making 33 appearances in his first season at Easter Road. But the one-time Queen’s Park attacker missed the first three months of the last term after picking up an ankle injury in pre-season training and then failed to recapture his top form as the manager who signed him, Pat Fenlon, was replaced by Butcher.
He said: “I’m obviously delighted. When [manager] Allan Johnston phoned up my agent to ask if I was interested in going to Kilmarnock I was delighted and to get it all finalised is great.
“I’m very happy to get a two-year contract and hopefully I can perform better than I did at Hibs.
“Hibs are a great club, with great fans, but sometimes it doesn’t work out in football and it didn’t really go to plan for me at Hibs.
“It started off well for me at Easter Road but faded away and then I found it hard to get back into the team. My injury last summer didn’t help either.
“But that is in the past and I’m delighted to get another crack at the Premiership with a great club like Kilmarnock. My ambition now is to play well for Kilmarnock and hopefully perform the way I know I can.”
Hibs, meanwhile, yesterday announced a three-year heritage partnership with Crabbies.
The drinks company will sponsor the Famous Five stand and have their name across the back of all first-team kit.
Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster said: “The commercial team has worked closely with Crabbie’s to produce this creative and wide-ranging agreement that will further enhance the relationship between us in a way that will showcase our shared heritage and history.
“As well as both having our origins in Leith, Hibernian and Crabbie’s share a culture of innovation and have ambitious plans for the future, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership in the coming years.”