Ron Gordon: Hibs may lose prized assets in summer - but it'll be on our terms
Hibs owner Ron Gordon is steeling himself to lose at least one of his top players in the summer – but has assured fans that the club are already preparing contingency plans.
The executive chairman, speaking on the day of the Easter Road club’s annual general meeting, defended the decision to snub offers for Kevin Nisbet and Ryan Porteous in the January transfer window, insisting the timing and valuation of any deal needs to be right for the club, but he conceded that there is a strong likelihood that at least one of the prize assets will move on in the close season.
“That could be a possibility and, to be honest, it wouldn't surprise me. We are thinking about those possibilities and planning accordingly. I don't really anticipate more than one, at the outside two, but I do think that one could have the opportunity to move this summer.
“[In January] it was a question of timing and valuation, and about where the club was at the time. They were not easy decisions. Both of them want to grow and compete at the highest level and I am 100 percent sure they will have other opportunities. I think they both agreed.”
They are not the only players attracting admirers, with young Josh Doig catching the eye of former Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, at Leicester City.
A fan of the youngster, Gordon says that while he would love to keep him in Leith, along with Nisbet and Porteous, he has to balance his responsibility to the club and the players.
“Kevin has come back and really contributed beautifully for the club. He’s a terrific player and it was fantastic for him he got his first cap for Scotland and another feather in the cap for Hibs. Hopefully he’ll continue to do well and be in a better position to move on when the time is right.
“I think Josh has been terrific. I love him, I love his energy. He has tremendous attributes as a player, he’s got great speed and a terrific shot – if he ever puts it in, it’ll be a beautiful thing.
“In just one year of playing time he’s grown and matured, he’s more comfortable and confident. I think he’s a terrific young man and a great player. So, I’m excited Brendan Rodgers is interested in him.”
But accepting that Hibs are a selling club, he refuses to accept that every bid is accepted and every sale a formality.
“It’s tricky finding that balance of being competitive and allowing the players the opportunity to move to a higher level of football. It takes a bit of finesse.
“Josh is a great player, we are trying to be reasonable but we don’t want to undersell our assets as a club. We need to find the right balance. We spoke about it at the AGM last year, we want this to be a player’s club. We want to do the right thing by them by having their careers in mind first and foremost.
“For a kid like Josh, the ability to play for a team like Leicester City is something we have to be behind and encourage. But there is a time for everyone. This is just his first year, so let’s wait and see.”