Kevin Thomson brands John Collins a 'liar' over Hibs captaincy claims as ex-boss address six-pack rumours

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The former Easter Road manager revealed why he took the captaincy from Thomson

Ex-Hibs ace Kevin Thomson has hit back strongly at claims made by former Easter Road boss John Collins.

The Scotland legend opened up about the difficulties he faced as Hibs manager in an interview with the BBC.

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Collins revealed the reasons behind the stripping of Thomson as club captain not long after taking over.

Kevin Thomson refutes comments made by ex-Hibs boss John Collins. Picture: SNSKevin Thomson refutes comments made by ex-Hibs boss John Collins. Picture: SNS
Kevin Thomson refutes comments made by ex-Hibs boss John Collins. Picture: SNS

The 52-year-old claimed that both Thomson and Scott Brown had asked for advice when moving agents before signing with Willie McKay, who Collins called “notorious”.

It was also felt by the then manager that Thomson was not behaving like a captain.

“Kevin Thomson was writing a weekly page in the Daily Record so that wasn’t great,” Collins said. “He was the club captain, things were getting out.

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"I came into a firestorm right away and a lot of people don’t realise that. It’s not like the old days when nothing gets in the press, nothing gets out. Everything gets out at that time and you’ve got to deal with it.

“Kevin came out and had a go at me in the press. Kevin was the captain when I arrived and he was removed as captain. Very simple. This story never came out why he was removed.

“We were playing Hearts on the Saturday and Kevin comes in with a sore back, can’t play. I said fine, have a shower and join us at the team hotel and come to Tynecastle. We head to the team hotel, have a pre-match, and head to Tynecastle. Kevin doesn’t turn up.

“Monday morning meeting, ‘Kevin, why did you not come with your team-mates to Tynecastle’? [He said] ‘We get a lot of hassle there’.

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“The manager tells you to have a shower, join your team-mates at the team hotel and come to the derby and doesn’t turn up. These are the things I’ve got to deal with. Does he retain the captaincy? A captain has got responsibility. You’ve got to behave like a captain. In that instance he never behaved like a captain but he’s had a pop at me a few times in the paper for taking the captaincy off him.

“But he got his big move, that’s what he wanted. He got his big move to Rangers.”

‘As a manager, person and coach...’

It is an accusation Thomson, who joined the Ibrox side in January 2007 for £2million strongly refutes, taking to Twitter, calling Collins a “t**t” and a “liar”.

He tweeted: “Had to stop listening!!!! I’ve heard some s***e in my life, but that made me boil!!! One thing being a t**t but being a liar is as low as it gets. Sore back, Willie McKay agent, first meeting was him complaining about us getting Willie never once asked for advice before it.”

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He added: “And just to clarify I had already left. I had no part in the meetings or the revolt. Do and say things you regret, but picture he paints to some of the stuff I could say he’s done is laughable. Brilliant player that’s not debatable, as a manager, person and coach well...”

Collins also encountered difficulty later in the season, after Thomson had left. He led the team to League Cup success, defeating Kilmarnock 5-1 in the final at Hampden Park, but his methods were being questioned by the players provoking the infamous team meeting with chairman Rod Petrie.

He wanted to make changes to the way the team trained and prepared for matches, while there were rumours of displaying his six-pack to players.

“It wasn’t a great time for me, it was painful. I was over in France looking for new players for the following season and I heard the players had gone and spoken to the chairman, moaned.

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“It’s not something I like to dwell on but there were certain things I implemented. I took them on a training camp to Spain before the League Cup final. I told the players that it wasn’t going to be a Scottish training camp/stag week. We had a cup final, no one had played in a cup final or won a medal.

“The danger is when you go on a training camp you change your sleeping patterns, you eat too much because it is buffets in the hotel. I wanted to do it my way, a French training camp. No drink, no nights out on the bevvy. I’ve seen it so many times, Scottish boys go out on the bevvy and it’s not two beers. There’s always one or two who take advantage.

“I wanted to do it my way, the players didn’t like it. They wanted nights out and they moaned about it. I was disappointed about the players moaning but all I cared about was winning a trophy.”

Showing off the six-pack?

He added: “I have never taken my top off and shown my six-pack of in front of a group of players. No chance. I may have a six-pack but I never did that. That little story grew arms and legs somewhere along the line.

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“Rod took them into his office and listened to their complaints. I would have preferred he told them to speak to me direct but that’s the chairman’s prerogative.

“After it we had a meeting, spoke about a few things and moved on. At the end of the day maybe I was too strict.”

Collins admits that he won’t manage in Scotland again.

“I wouldn’t go back in as a manager,” he said. “If I go back in it would be as a director of football, maybe get a consortium together and take over a small club. That is maybe something I’d do in the future.

“As for a manager, the way I am, the demands I put on people and the type of training regime I would like to put in place, it wouldn’t go down too well in Scotland.”