Hibs given SFA permission to accept Bill Foley investment - conditions set, Gordon family reacts to developments

The Bournemouth owner’s Black Knight group is looking to invest £6million in Easter Road club

Hibs have been granted permission to proceed with an investment from the consortium that owns Bournemouth.

The Scottish Football Association board has approved the club’s dual interest dispensation request. Hibs will now progress with an offer from the Black Knight group which owns a majority stake in Bournemouth and a 30 per cent stake in French Ligue 1 side Lorient. The consortium, led by American Bill Foley, is reported to have offered to invest £6million into the cinch Premiership club, which is largely owned by the American-based family of late chairman Ron Gordon.

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The SFA revealed the approval was subject to certain conditions, including that Black Knight’s shareholding does not exceed 29.99 per cent and that the agreement does not preclude Hibs participating in European competition because of dual interests.

American businessman, Bill Foley.American businessman, Bill Foley.
American businessman, Bill Foley.

A Hibs statement read: “The club now has an agreement in principle with Black Knight Football Club for minority investment into Hibernian FC. The investment proposal will now be shared and ratified at the Club’s Annual General Meeting, which will occur in February.”

The SFA’s articles on dual interest state that nobody who is involved in the management or administration of a club, or has any power to manage or influence the management or administration of a club should be able to do so for another club. The agreement came after several meetings between Hibs and the SFA.

The Gordon family expressed their excitement at the news, which they claim will benefit the club’s long-term future. A statement added: “Ron’s vision, and long-term plan, included bringing in a minority partner, like Black Knight, which would help us achieve our goals. We share the same values and ambitions as Black Knight in our partnership. Our continued commitment to building a winning and successful club is unwavering.”

The statement pointed out plans are afoot to develop the space inside the Famous Five Stand, introduce safe standing and make further improvements to the training centre. “We take pride in the journey and progress of this football club; our commitment remains to meet the high expectations of Ron and our supporters and achieve sustained success on and off the pitch,” they added.