Hibs were tonight facing up to the prospect of losing Alan Stubbs as their Scottish Cup-winning head coach prepared to enter talks with Rotherham United regarding their managerial vacancy.
The Easter Road club “reluctantly” granted the English Championship side permission to speak to the 44-year-old Liverpudlian after receiving an official request at the end of last week.
Stubbs, who just nine days ago became the first Hibs manager in 114 years to win the Scottish Cup, intimated to the Easter Road board that he was keen to speak to the Millers after becoming aware of their approach.
He will meet Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart tomorrow and is almost certain to be offered the chance to succeed Neil Warnock in the hotseat after being placed at the top of the Yorkshire club’s wanted list. Hibs retain hope that Stubbs might decide to stay and build on his success in Edinburgh, but Rotherham are confident they will get their man and intend to conclude a deal as swiftly as possible.
Easter Road chief executive Leeann Dempster said: “Throughout, we have made it plain to Alan that we want him to remain as head coach of Hibernian and build on what has been achieved. Despite that, Alan has expressed an interest in hearing what Rotherham have to say.
“I believe that our best chance to keep Alan focused and positive about his job at Hibernian is to allow a brief window within which Alan can speak to Rotherham. Reluctantly therefore, we have agreed to allow that to happen and we will take stock after that. While we have agreed to the request, we hope that Alan will see a brighter future here at Hibernian with the continued full support of the board.”
Stubbs is under contract for another year, so Hibs will be due compensation from Rotherham.