‘What message does this send?’ - Hibs’ decision to sack Shaun Maloney blasted by ex-Celtic teammate

The Easter Road side have parted company with the former Aston Villa and Scotland star after just four months.

Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 11:29 am

Hibernian’s decision to axe manager Shaun Maloney has been blasted by one of the 39-year old’s former Celtic teammates as ‘ridiculous’.

Chris Sutton, who played alongside Maloney for the Hoops between 2001 and 2006, commented on Twitter asking “what message does this send to young aspiring coaches?”.

The former Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea striker, who won four Scottish Premiership titles during his time at Celtic Park, currently makes his living as a pundit with BT Sport among others.

He has become known for his outspoken views on Scottish football and wasn’t in the mood to pull any punches when it came to Maloney’s sacking.

“He’s hardly been in the door 5 minutes” - Sutton fumes at Hibs

Like so many others, the 49-year old was particularly surprised by the decision due to the incredibly short period of time that Maloney had been given in charge at Easter Road.

He wrote: “This is ridiculous. He’s hardly been in the door 5 minutes… what message does this send to young aspiring coaches??”

Maloney was appointed Hib manager in December 2021, having previously worked as part of Roberto Martinez’ back room staff with the Belgian men’s international team.

This was the former Wigan Athletic and Hull City attacker’s first job in management, succeeding Jack Ross who was also sacked earlier in the season.

A statement released by Hibs earlier today said: “Hibernian FC can confirm that Shaun Maloney has departed the club as First Team Manager.

“Gary Caldwell, Valerio Zuddas and Brian Doogan have also left with immediate effect.

“Executive Chairman Ronald J Gordon commented: “Our hope in appointing Shaun Maloney as a young, highly regarded coach was that he would help us take the club forward, but ultimately it didn’t work out.

“We thank Shaun and his coaching staff for all their hard work and efforts and wish them all the best for the future.

“David Gray will take charge of the First Team as Caretaker Manager for the remainder of the 2021/22 campaign and will be supported by Eddie May and Jon Busch.

“No further comment will be made at this time.”

During his time in charge at Easter Road, Hibs won just six of Maloney’s 19 games in charge.

He failed to guide them to a top six finish and also oversaw the Betfred Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic in December as well as last weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to city rivals Hearts - which proved to be the final nail in the coffin for his tenure.

Maloney’s last win as Hibs manager came on March 13 when they secured three Scottish Premiership points away to Motherwell with Elias Melkersen netting twice in a 2-1 victory.

Since the start of the calendar year, Hibs have won just three out of 17 matches in all competitions with one of those coming against Scottish Championship side Arbroath in the Scottish Cup.

They drew seven and lost seven in that run including back-to-back defeats to Hearts in both the league and Scottish Cup.