Paul Heffernan has knocked back the chance of a quick-fire return to the Premiership to play his part in Hibs’ battle back to the top flight, boss Alan Stubbs revealed today.
St Johnstone, seeking to beef up their strikeforce after top scorer Stevie May’s £800,000 move to Sheffield Wednesday, made an enquiry about the 32-year-old hitman, pictured. It is understood a two-year deal and a higher wage were on offer but the much-travelled Heffernan, a surprise signing by former manager Pat Fenlon when he was released by Kilmarnock last summer, gave them short shrift – much to Stubbs’ delight. The head coach said: “Paul did not want to go. He said he loves it here and wants to stay and fight for his place. I’m happy with that, it’s really great for the club’s point of view and mine that we have players who do not want to leave.
“It tells you that maybe we are doing something right.”
Saints have now turned to Dundee United’s Brian Graham, with the striker set to agree a one-year loan deal at McDiarmid Park.
Stubbs also disclosed he’s hoping to make further additions to his squad before the transfer window closes on Monday, former Bristol City captain Liam Fontaine having become his sixth signing of the summer only hours before the defender made his debut in the dramatic League Cup win over Dumbarton.
The 28-year-old came in to replace veteran stopper Michael Nelson, who moved to Cambridge United after being told he couldn’t be guaranteed a starting place, but today Stubbs insisted any further arrivals wouldn’t be dependent on others leaving. He said: “We are very active behind the scenes, looking at who is available but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Meanwhile, Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster will host a series of three meetings with fans next week as wide-ranging discussions with supporters regarding the future of the club get underway.
Around 200 fans will have their say each night – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – with Dempster promising that “nothing is off the table,” as she expects the debates, being held with the full backing of club owner Sir Tom Farmer, to cover topics such as club ownership, fans’ representation on the board and membership schemes.
Dempster revealed the Hibs directors have been working on the future face of the club for some time and insisted the talks with fans are not as a knee-jerk reaction to the Forever Hibernian campaign being spearheaded by former player Paul Kane or the rejected takeover bid by David Low and his consortium.
She said: “I don’t expect anything will be sorted in two weeks or two months. These will be major changes in direction when we do take them.”