Hibs investment: state of play, Foley already explained plan, expert verdict

All the latest information surrounding a possible investment at Hibs amid interest from a US billionaire.

Hibs are set to welcome significant investment from AFC Bournemouth owner Bill Foley, who is a US Billionaire. The Edinburgh club have regularly bid to consistently be the third best team in Scotland, but they haven;'t always managed it.

New partial owner Foley may turn that around in what is an exciting development for Hibs fans. Here we round up all the latest on the possible investment at Easter Road.

The latest

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US billionaire Foley has opened talks to buy a minority stake in Hibs, aiming to clearly establish the club as the third best club in Scotland, and one that can compete with the top two. It's claimed Foley wants a stake in 'four of rive' football clubs around the world, and Hibs is set to be the latest after his arrival at Bournemouth.

The Gordon family would remain the controlling force, but Foley would look to have a strong influence, aiming to deliver success with analysis, recruitment and hard cash. A deal is not expected to be completed until the new year.

Foley on what to expect

Foley has already told Hibs fans what to expect having recently spoken to the Men In Blazers podcast about the possibility of investing in Scotland: “I’m fascinated by the Scottish Premier League. They play hard, Scots are tough. They play a tough brand of football. And I believe there are opportunities to make one of the number four, five or six SPL teams, to get them to number three and they play in Europe.

“I believe we can pull that off with not a gigantic investment – and be a minority investor, be supportive of that club, and then work on sponsorship together because we have a whole sponsorship and I know we can help an SPL team. We’re working towards that goal right now with a particular team.”

Finance expert's verdict

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Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has issued his verdict on the possible investment, telling the Edinburgh Evening News: "If you look to see what Brighton did with their partnership with Union Saint-Gilloise, the Belgian club got into the Champions League qualifiers. “And Brighton got Kaoru Mitoma, among other players, to gain experience and come through to the first team. There are very definite advantages to both clubs in this sort of deal.”

Speaking about Foley's plan to get Hibs regularly into Europe, Maguire added: "I think that’s very possible. I agree entirely with what he’s said on this. We know that the top two places – certainly the top one place – in Scottish football are taken.

“There then isn’t a lot of difference, financially, between the next four or five clubs, with the two Edinburgh teams and Aberdeen the next strongest. There’s nothing between them. So a nudge in the right direction might be all it takes. And, if you are regularly finishing third in the SPFL, which means getting into the Europa League Conference at the very least, you’re going to be making money out of reaching the group stages of a UEFA competition.

"So what do Hibs get out of this? The classic answer is, of course, that it depends. But you could say they’ll get access to more up-to-date training methods, information exchanges, the sort of tie-in that has been done more informally in the past.

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“The advantages of the multi-club ownership model is consistency across the board. You’ve got what we call revenue synergies, meaning you can go to a potential sponsor and say: ‘I can offer you three clubs for a shirt deal, some other deal.’ That can be quite attractive. Manchester City have done that very well.

“As for why anyone would choose a Scottish club, it’s a relatively cheap market to buy into, from a club investment point of view. You’ve got a relatively simple pathway into England, which is the Championship and Premier League, both profitable markets for selling players. So those are positives for anyone looking to buy into a Scottish club. There are also chances to get into Europe, which increases the profile of players, so there are pathway reasons.”

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