Hibs are ‘in rude health’ – and there won’t be influx of South Americans

Outgoing chairman Rod Petrie has claimed Hibs have been passed on to new owner Ron Gordon in “the rudest of health” as he and Sir Tom Farmer step down after 28 years at the helm of the Easter Road club.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 6:30 am
Updated Thursday, 4th July 2019, 7:30 am
Rod Petrie believes he departs Hibs with the club in a great position. Pic: TSPL
Rod Petrie believes he departs Hibs with the club in a great position. Pic: TSPL

Petrie insisted both he and Sir Tom have full confidence that the American businessman will prove hugely successful in Edinburgh, his buyout having wiped out the club’s debt six years ahead of plan while providing a “seven-figure” cash injection.

Asked if fans should be excited at this week’s developments, Petrie said: “They should have been excited with what was happening in the last three or four weeks with Paul (Heckingbottom), Leeann (Dempster) and George (Craig) putting the squad together.

“This deal has been in the background throughout all that time and it’s been a measure of Ron’s confidence in the football management team and its recruitment. Paul has got a lot of his first picks in, so that would let you know it has been business as usual.

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“Ron was in the background when we went through a change in manager around February – so again he’s seen the club with a maturity to be able to deal with it.”

Gordon himself has admitted some fans may be wary of him as they know little of the Peru-born multi-millionaire, but Petrie is convinced having run thorough checks on his provenance that Hibs are being placed in good hands.

He said: “Ron knows all about Scottish football. He’s spent some time looking for a football club. He has been to different countries so this is not a rush of blood to the head for him.

“It’s up to him to explain the attraction for him. But he’s a guy with high energy and he’s passionate about football.

“He wanted a club with stature and with an experienced management team. He has no plans to bring in a whole lot of South American football players to change things radically.”

Asked if he felt he could walk away with his head held high, Petrie said Sir Tom had been the “bedrock” of the club, bringing a stability which had “enabled it to do some fantastic things”.

He said: “We won three cups, had ten sojourns in Europe and done a variety of different things on the pitch. We’ve had some great days and throughout the 28 years, we’ve just about broken even. So by playing fair and running the club fair, and being respectful of everyone else in the same position in football, we have always wanted the supporters to be proud of the club and how it conducts itself.

“We think the 28 years of ownership has delivered the club into a fantastic position. It’s handed on to Ron in the rudest of health with great opportunity in front of it. So I’m very proud of what we have achieved here.”