'Culture trumps strategy': Hibs chief speaks on health of club, Ron Gordon and Deloitte review

Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell believes Hibs are in a “really good place” as they strive to make improvements on and off the pitch.

After changes to the management team with Shaun Maloney’s arrival and the recruitment of several players during the transfer window, Kensell feels the club is ready to build upon solid foundations.

"It's in a really good place, we're building on and off the pitch,” Kensell said when asked how healthy Hibs are right now.

“I also think that the club is looking forward, it's not really got its head in the past at all. It's respectful of it, but we've got a real plan now to move forward with some capital projects, like improvement plans in the stadium, but we need to invest in our players. We need to make sure that we keep the core group together and move forward, add quality to it – perhaps not as much quantity as we have done in the window – but certainly some quality in there to work with the brilliant players that we've already got.

Hibs owner Ron Gordon, right, and chief executive Ben Kensell.

"I say all of that because in my opinion, culture trumps strategy. You can have the best laid plans out but ultimately, if you don't have the right kind of culture within the club, across HTC across Easter Road, across Hibs Women, across the Community Foundation, it doesn't really come together, because not everyone is pulling in the same direction.

“We've done a lot of work on that, and it's really moving places now.”

Kensell stated that Hibs’ owner Ron Gordon has given him his full backing as he looks to implement changes at the club and revealed when the US-based businessman might be back in the country.

I speak to him quite a lot, but I wouldn't want to speak for his travel arrangements and things like that,” said Kensell.

“We've got our AGM coming up so Ron will obviously be visible there. He's a brilliant, brilliant owner and really allows us as a group, and as a team, to be very autonomous.

“He's incredibly supportive, as is the whole board, of what we're trying to do. It's a club that has, in my opinion, now got a lot more structure to it. We have a very clear sense of direction. I'm really proud of the culture that we've built here.

“Ron is fully on board with the whole process, but I don't believe he will be physically here, probably until the latter part of the season.”

Kensell also gave an update into the Deloitte review commissioned by Hibs, Hearts, Aberdeen, Dundee and Dundee United into Scottish football.

“Ron's very heavily involved with that, which is great. It's promising, and we're moving forward with it,” added Kensell.

“I think some of the information that was found, as a result of that review, was really interesting around growth, particularly commercial growth, and the opportunities there for all clubs to benefit, not just Hibs, and Scottish Premiership clubs, but all clubs in the pyramid.

“It's moving forward at a slow pace and what we have to remember is that all clubs will be consumed by the same transfer window that we've just been consumed by so these things are, you know, they take a pace when they can pick up pace.

“It was a really good paper and a really good piece and there'll be more coming out on that, I'm sure.”

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