Leeann Dempster: I had no option, Paul Heckingbottom had to go

Hibs chief on Heckingbottom sacking

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 11:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 11:17 am
Paul Heckingbottom

Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster has revealed head coach Paul Heckingbottom’s time was up at Easter Road as Hibs were going into matches “more with hope than expectation”.

The Yorkshireman was sacked by the capital club having won just one Premiership match this season, a record which has left them languishing near the foot of the table.

Dempster admitted she’d hoped it would have worked out differently for Heckingbottom but insisted she had been left with no option but to usher him and his assistant Robbie Stockdale out, a move which left Hibs looking for a third head coach within a year, Neil Lennon having left in January.

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“That’s obviously not a position any club wants to be in,” confessed Dempster. “We hoped it would have worked differently with Paul. We obviously didn’t hire someone with the intention of him leaving in less that a year.

“But that’s unfortunately the situation we found ourselves in. I work in football to try and make this club as good as it can be, that’s always got to be my determination. I want to be part of winning things, exciting games.

“It was about weighing up the possibilities with Paul. We’d gone a full cycle of games and didn’t have the wins we wanted. There were a lot of thin lines, but you have to look at the next games that are coming. If you go into a match, being honest, more with hope than expectation, then that’s not a good place for us to be.

“I don’t mean that with any disrespect to Paul. He was a fantastic coach who did brilliant things in the game. I hope he’ll go on and do other things - and I think he will.

“But we have to look at the here and now. It was a tough decision but we made it and now we have to move on to the next phase. That’s life in football, it’s unforgiving.