Paul Heckingbottom: New owner does not mean Hibs will splash the cash

Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom has admitted American multi-millionaire businessman Ron Gordon’s buyout of the Easter Road club won’t mean he’ll be allowed to plunge head-long into the transfer market.

Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom won't be splashing the cash on transfers. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

In ending Sir Tom Farmer’s 28-year-long ownership of Hibs, Gordon has made “a seven-figure” cash injection in a deal which also leaves the club debt-free six years ahead of plan. But Heckingbottom, right, who described the timing of Gordon’s takeover as “excellent”, insisted it won’t see him embark on a spending splurge to follow the arrival of six signings so far this summer.

“Nothing is going to change in that respect,” he said. “We’ve been told we’re working to a budget we were working to. The investment has come to clear debts, for the infrastructure and the academy, and we have been assured the plan is not going to change.

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“What would be the point in signing players to replace the players we have just signed? We haven’t played a game, we can’t be doing that. It’s about improving what the club do really well. There will be significant improvements throughout the club, but at the minute the playing side of it is remaining exactly the same strategy.”

Heckingbottom revealed he’d been in the dark as much as anyone else regarding Gordon’s intentions until he was told just 24 hours before the public announcement was made. “I was excited anyway before I heard the news like everyone else, excited about the new season, a big turnover of players, trying to get players in to improve us, which is ongoing.

“The timing is excellent. I spoke to the new owner and his family on Tuesday and told him it couldn’t be better and that’s what he said he’d pushed for, he wanted to get it done before the end of June, before the new season.”

After completing the formalities and the subsequent round of media interviews, Gordon accompanied Sir Tom to the club’s East Mains training centre where, according to Heckingbottom, he cut an impressive figure. “The new owner has had to satisfy a lot of people with his intentions and probably his plans for the club. He was at East Mains with his family, his wife and son and his son’s girlfriend, so we wandered about, met a few players. It was really informal and, I felt, a nice touch.

“There was no entourage, just a humble, down-to-earth man walking about meeting people, greeting people. I thought it helped a hell of a lot. Change can be worrying for lots of people but I think the way he took time out of his day to come down and speak to people and the manner in which he did was impressive and for me it fits in with what we think the club is all about.”