Leeann Dempster will scrutinse all new Hibs players

Hibs chief executive Leann Dempster
Hibs chief executive Leann Dempster
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Leeann Dempster intends to minimise the chances of Hibs recruiting any more misfits by scrutinising every proposed new signing to ensure they fit the requirements of the club.

Hibs have had something resembling a scattergun approach to transfer activity in the past few years, which has resulted in a host of players failing to fit in at Easter Road. However, the recently-installed chief executive, who is currently leading the search for a new manager, intends to implement a signing policy which lends itself to maximum efficiency.

The new boss will be required to work within a “football plan”, whereby the merits of any potential recruits be fully evaluated by Dempster and others at the club to confirm if they are worth pursuing.

“We will have a football plan and we’ll all work collectively together,” Dempster told the Evening News. “I was heavily involved in player recruitment in my previous role and I’ll be heavily involved in player recruitment at Hibs. That means that when the manager wants to sign players, we look at it in its broadest sense about where they sit, whether it’s a short-term or long-term move and things like that.

“That will mean that we select the right players required to do a job at the football club. It will be a mix of young and experienced players that will sit within a football plan where we agree a common approach [with the manager].”

A Hibs squad depleted by the departure of 15 players at the end of last season is due to return to pre-season training next Monday. However, Dempster confirmed that there will be no new players coming into the club before the manager is in place.

She said: “It would be foolish of us to bring in any players at all before the new management team are appointed because that’s not good planning and a risk we don’t need to take.”

Meanwhile, former Chelsea and Holland striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has emerged as a shock contender to succeed Terry Butcher as manager at Easter Road as ex-Hibs star Ian Murray, the bookies favourite for the job, insisted he wouldn’t automatically jump at the chance of taking the post.

Hasselbaink, who also counts Leeds, Atletico Madrid and Middlesbrough among his former clubs, quit as boss of Belgian outfit Royal Antwerp last month and the 42-year-old is said to be desperate for a return to the British game.

His agent Simon Dent said: “If Hibs were interested in speaking to Jimmy we would be interested in hearing the club’s plans and the chief executive’s plans.”

Murray has been installed as 6-4 favourite to become Hibs’ eighth manager in ten years, but the 33-year-old, who only signed new deal with Championship rivals Dumbarton a few weeks ago having impressed in his first managerial role, revealed he’d have to think long and hard if he were to be offered a return to his first club.

He said: “People think, a bit disrespectfully to myself and Dumbarton, that I would automatically jump at the chance. Of course, it’s an attractive job, but you also have to think about long-term ambitions and where you want to go.

“I know I’m going to be labelled because I’m ex-Hibs, but it’s not a closed-book case.”