Hibs have landed a lucrative windfall after their former midfielder John McGinn helped Aston Villa secure a return to the English Premier League.
As revealed by the Evening News last week, the Easter Road club negotiated an agreement with the Midlands club last summer whereby they would be subject to a sizeable additional payment if the Villans won promotion to the richest league in the world.
McGinn scored Villa’s second goal as they defeated Derby County 2-1 in the Championship play-off final at Wembley, triggering a bumper bonus for his former club.
Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster tweeted following the full-time whistle at Wembley: “Well done John. We are all so proud of you.”
McGinn - watched at Wembley by former Hibs team-mates Marvin Bartley and Danny Swanson - moved to the Birmingham-based club last summer in a £3 million deal after three fruitful years in Leith in which he won the Scottish Cup in 2016 and the Championship title in 2017 before helping the team to a fourth-place finish on their first season back in the top flight.
Despite admitting in an interview in the build-up to the play-off final that he feared in his early days in England that he didn’t know if he’d be good enough to compete at that level, the Scotland midfielder has made a huge impact in his first season at Villa, cleaning up at the club’s end-of-season player of the year awards and now scoring the goal that sealed their return to the top flight following three years in the second tier.
Meanwhile, McGinn’s former Hibs team-mate Efe Ambrose was again unable to make it into the Derby squad for the Wembley showpiece. The Nigerian, who was arguably Hibs’ best player in the first half of the season, hasn’t made a single appearance for Frank Lampard’s side since leaving Easter Road during the winter break and subsequently joining the Rams on a short-term deal in February.