Bill Foley reveals Hibs transfer pot and says long-term ambition is to challenge Celtic and Rangers - 'it's going to be a fun investment'

American investor says he is delighted to get involved with Scottish club and says how much club will have to spend

Bill Foley says his ultimate goal is for Hibs to be challenging Celtic and Rangers for the Premiership title after the Scottish Football Association gave the green light for the Texan to become a minority shareholder of the club.

The SFA board has approved the club’s dual interest dispensation request on Tuesday, subject to certain conditions, including that Foley’s shareholding through the Black Knight group does not exceed 29.99 per cent and that the agreement does not preclude Hibs participating in European competition because of dual interests. Hibs will now progress with an offer from the consortium, which owns a majority stake in English Premier League outfit Bournemouth and a 30 per cent stake in French Ligue 1 side Lorient, and will ask shareholders to vote on it next month at the club’s annual general meeting

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Foley plans to invest around £6million into the cinch Premiership club, which is largely owned by the American-based family of late chairman Ron Gordon, and wants the club to ultimately be challenging the Old Firm.

Bill Foley's Vegas Golden Knights won ice hockey's Stanley Cup last year.Bill Foley's Vegas Golden Knights won ice hockey's Stanley Cup last year.
Bill Foley's Vegas Golden Knights won ice hockey's Stanley Cup last year.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, Foley said when asked of his ambitions for Hibs: “Short-term is to be in Europe, get into the Europa League. Be number three or four [in Scotland] so we can work our way up. My long-term ambition is to challenge Celtic and Rangers for one of the top spots, but that is a longer term ambition. I hope I'm around to see it.

"It's going to be very difficult, it's going to take a long time, it's going to take years of developing the squad and opening more revenue sources so Hibs can be more competitive in the transfer market. And Hibs has got to develop homegrown players. Lots of homegrown players. And if we do that and we are successful, we have the right academy behind our football club. Anything is possible. We won the [ice hockey] Stanley Cup with the Vegas Golden Knights in our first six years of existence and no-one gave us a chance to even make the play-offs, not less win a Stanley Cup. I like set to unrealistic expectations and then exceed them.”

Foley made it clear that he will not have a controlling interest in Hibs. “We're not going to be involved in management and we made that very clear to the Scottish FA,” the 79-year-old Texan continued. “We also made it clear to the Gordon family. They have majority interest, they want to continue with that majority interest, but they want to have an affiliation. So that's really how it evolved. I always felt a kinship with Scotland. I knew they played a tough brand of football. I've watched them on ESPN+, I've watched Rangers and Celtic in particular, and they're playing a tough brand of football, they are playing almost Premier League-like football. It's not Italian, stand back and don't really hit people, don't get into the niggly, so I was just attracted to Scottish football.

“I think they'll have a few million pounds to help them with the transfer window next summer. Interestingly, we are making an investment in the team. There's no money being taken out so the Gordon family's family remains intact. We're just helping. Honestly, I know it may sound kind of silly, but I love the idea of being affiliated with a Scottish Premier League [sic[ team and I want them to be just as successful as we are trying to be at Bournemouth. I want them to really do well.”

Foley plans to visit Hibs for the first time in March. “I am excited about it, I am looking forward to going to games,” he added. "I'll be over in late March, I'll be spending about three weeks in Bournemouth and I'll make sure I get up to Edinburgh and see a game. I'll be back in summer. Usually I spend the month of August in Bournemouth. That's another opportunity to go to Edinburgh. I've never been to Edinburgh. I understand it's just a beautiful, historic city. I'm a history buff, I love exploring and learning. I'm excited about it. This is going to be fun. It's not a big investment for us. It's going to be a fun investment.”