New man at the top? Hibs consider senior footballing appointment

Montgomery (left) and McDermott both find their roles under review.Montgomery (left) and McDermott both find their roles under review.
Montgomery (left) and McDermott both find their roles under review. | SNS Group
Following Bournemouth blueprint prompts opportunity to revamp football ops

Hibs are considering candidates for a newly-created role of technical director as part of the board’s ongoing review of a calamitous campaign. And the Easter Road club hope learning from billionaire investor Bill Foley’s AFC Bournemouth blueprint will produce a more stable platform for on-field success.

Current director of football Brian McDermott has been in place less than a year. But it is understood that the exact role of the the former Leeds United boss is up for discussion, with Foley’s Black Knight group – who now have two seats on the board - looking to protect their investment by exerting real influence on how the football department operates.

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With the Hibs board fully involved in the review announced last week, there is a growing consensus that a technical director would help to oversee operations at East Mains. If McDermott remains, it is likely to be in a more recruitment-focused role.

Foley’s initial £6 million investment, in exchange for a 25 per cent holding in the club, leaves the family of late chairman Ron Gordon in overall control as majority shareholders. But the buy-in was always about more than just a quick cash injection, with Hibs looking to acquire expertise – and on-field talent – from a Black Knight group that also includes League 1 side FC Lorient.

Much of the focus in the wake of last week’s boardroom announcement has been on the future of manager Nick Montgomery, who has been warned that “results need to improve” after a season branded “unacceptable” in a statement by directors. The former Central Coast Mariners boss has effectively been given the remaining five games of the season to prove that he should remain in post beyond the summer. But the board, already on their fifth permanent manager since 2019, hope laying more solid foundations will prevent the sort of short-term chopping and changing that has contributed to the club’s current plight.

While the Gordon family have stressed that they will always retain final say on any major decisions, the opportunity to tap into Bournemouth’s global scouting network is considered one of the key benefits of the Foley deal. The short-term loan signing of Emi Marcondes and permanent acquisition of Nathan Moriah-Welsh have already been cited as examples of the tie-in bearing fruit.