Hibs boss Nick Montgomery given stay of execution as club commences full review in conjunction with Bill Foley

The Easter Road club were condemned to bottom-six football last week

Hibs say they will conduct a full review of the club’s football structure in the wake of failing to reach the top six of the Premiership this season.

The Easter Road outfit missed out on finishing the right side of the league’s split last weekend following a 1-1 draw at Fir Park against Motherwell. Hibs’ remaining fixtures will be played in the bottom six and the highest they can finish is seventh, with no prospect of securing European football for next term. As a result, pressure has increased significantly on manager Nick Montgomery, who took over from Lee Johnson last September, but for now he remains in his post, although results will need to improve between now and the end of the season and finishing seventh is the expectation now. The 42-year-old has only won 11 of his 34 matches in charge so far.

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With recent investment from Bournemouth owner and American billionaire Bill Foley, Hibs were always going to undertake a significant rebuild in the summer. However, on the back of failing to reach the top six, Hibs’ review will take place in conjunction with Foley’s Black Knight group, who have ties with the Cherries, French Ligue 1 side Lorient and Auckland in New Zealand. Foley’s mission at Hibs is to make them the undisputed third force of Scottish football, with the 79-year-old to inject at least £6 million into the club’s coffers for the summer.

Hibs failed to make the top six under Nick Montgomery this season.Hibs failed to make the top six under Nick Montgomery this season.
Hibs failed to make the top six under Nick Montgomery this season.

Scrutiny will not be reserved just for Montgomery, though. All roles and responsibilities will be examined, with Hibs moving much closer to Foley’s stable of clubs. Current director of football Brian McDermott was heavily involved in the appointment of Montgomery and recruitment, while some supporters have trained their sights on chief executive Ben Kensell, with three managers sacked in three years and a decline in on-field performance under his watch.

In an update from the Hibs board of directors, a statement read: “Like all Hibs supporters, we believe that a club with our stature should, as an absolute minimum, finish in the top six. Ending the season in the bottom six is simply unacceptable.

“In the aftermath of Saturday’s draw with Motherwell, we came together to understand what happened this season and what are the necessary steps to move the club forward. With that in mind, we will conduct a full review of the club’s football structure in conjunction with Black Knight Football Club. The review will be a comprehensive evaluation of the entire football operation to ensure we perform at the highest level.

“We have also held detailed discussions with Nick Montgomery to understand what has gone wrong during the current campaign and mutually agreed that results this season have been disappointing. There’s an understanding that results need to improve.

“Considerable progress has been made at the club off the pitch over the last 12 months. That being said, we want to assure supporters that on-pitch progress and performance are at the forefront of our minds. We understand that this needs to be addressed urgently and the experience provided by our new partner, Black Knight Football Club, will help us improve in all areas.

“Lastly, we would like to thank every single one of you for your support through this incredibly challenging campaign. Your backing has been unwavering, and the club is extremely grateful. We will continue to work tirelessly to deliver results our supporters can be proud of.”

Hibs are back in action on April 27 when they take on St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, before matches against Ross County away, Aberdeen and Motherwell at home before concluding the season away at Livingston. They are currently seventh, nine points ahead of the Staggies, who occupy the relegation play-off position, but with a significantly better goal difference than the Dingwall outfit, the Dons and Saints.



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