Ron Gordon updates Hibs fans on 'strong' financial position, John McGinn sale and 'exciting' vision for club

Owner updates supporters on financial position and launch of upcoming vision for club

Hibs owner Ron Gordon is due to outline his vision for the club to fans at a shareholders' meeting later this month
Hibs owner Ron Gordon is due to outline his vision for the club to fans at a shareholders' meeting later this month

Hibs are in a "very strong financial position" but would have made a loss in 2019 without the sale of John McGinn to Aston Villa, Ron Gordon has revealed.

In a letter sent to all shareholders seen by the Evening News, the chairman reviewed the club's financial statement for the fiscal year ending July 2 2019, in which the Easter Road side enjoyed "strong revenue growth" but suffered an operating loss of £748,000.

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Writing to supporters ahead of a shareholders meeting on February 26, at which he is expected to outline in great detail his highly-anticipated vision for the club, Gordon said: "Two very significant transactions; the sale of John McGinn to Aston Villa [in the summer of 2018] and my acquisition of the majority shareholding of the club provided support for the financial results and position of the club.

"The £2.8 million gain on player trading led to a pre-tax profit of £2 million. As part of my acquiring the major shareholding, we paid off the club's £2.25 million mortgage and put a further £1.25 million into the club's bank account.

"As a result, we ended the year in a very strong financial position, with a cash balance of £5.5 million and no debt."

He added: "I was surprised at how many clubs in Scotland aim to just "break even". For me, a strong and sustainable club can only be built on a strong business - and that means one that generates profit that we can reinvest in our football team; that will gain us more sustainable success, one that will drive more happy supporters back to the club, which in turn will help us continually become stronger."

Addressing the sale of McGinn to then English Championship side Aston Villa, Gordon - who took over the club last July - said the transfer had been necessary to avoid the club losing a "significant" amount of money.

He said: "It's worth noting that without the McGinn money, the club would have made a significant loss. Losses drain resources and weaken us. Breaking even leaves us static. Progress will be based on generating funds that we will entirely use to reinvest in our club, making our team stronger and more successful."

The Peru-born businessman is expected to outline his vision for the club at the meeting in a fortnight's time, a little over seven months after taking the reins from long-time owner Sir Tom Farmer.

Gordon told fans in the letter: "I hope I have already demonstrated that I am prepared to invest in taking our club forward. Buying the major shareholding and eliminating the mortgage and injecting additional capital into the club are important foundational steps but I'm prepared to invest further - whether that's supporting recruitment of players or enhancing the matchday experience for fans.

"I've spent the first six months learning, asking many questions, and taking a good look at all aspects of our club - working closely with Leeann [Dempster, chief executive], the board and the management team in developing a strategic plan to guide our vision and actions for the next several years.

"We're excited about the vision we have created for the club, and I hope that you will be too."