Leeann Dempster has faith in Hibs’ future
“I went to an SPFL meeting on Monday and they gave us an update on the coefficient and what that means in a few years’ time [with additional European spots from 2021],” said the Hibernian chief executive. “And for the first time in a few years I came out of one of those meetings bouncing.
“The things we have talked about as possibilities now look as if they are within Scottish football’s grasp to influence.”
And given the work undertaken since Dempster, pictured, came on board and, more recently, the transfer of ownership to the ambitious Gordon, she believes the Leith club are well-placed to capitalise.
“We have had a hard reset within the club on the way we want to work, and he has brought some practices in and he’s encouraged us to think in a different way. I know you hear that all the time, but it really is true.
“He knows a lot about the game, not just in Scotland but across the world. He has been a passionate supporter of football and has told us he has dreamed of owning a football club his whole life. I don’t think he came into buying this one lightly, he did his research. And I believe he thinks he bought the right club, he tells us that often. He has taken some time to get to know us all, he has taken his time to get to know the club but undoubtedly he has got significant aspirations for us all and the club.”
The American entrepreneur is in the country for a couple of weeks and will outline his plans for the club at this week’s AGM. He will also take in the upcoming Edinburgh derby before heading back stateside. By then he hopes Hibs will be firmly in the fight for a European place.
“He is excited about the opportunity for the club to participate in Europe, to become much more global, to maybe do different things, maybe tweak things a little with how we do our academy. I think we are in good shape.
“It’s funny, I came from Motherwell and John Boyle was pretty clear, he’d invested his £10 million, he’d lost his £10m and what he was looking for was a positive exit for him and the club.
“Breaking even for John was manna from heaven because it meant he didn’t have to put more money in, and I mean that respectfully. So there has been this narrative at clubs where breaking even is seen as the most important thing… Ron has completely flipped that on its head.
“He has said if all we’re doing is breaking even, we’re not creating cash to invest, we’re not actually allowing ourselves to grow in a positive way. So it’s a different way of thinking. You don’t buy a football club just to let it wither on the vine, that’s not what he is going to do. He has bought this club to be a big part of it and be a big influence, and hopefully our club can be a big player in the marketplace not just in Scotland, but in Europe.”