Ronald Gordon on how he’ll run Hibs, his academy ambitions and his Highland connection
American businessman Ronald Gordon has revealed he intends to be a hands-on owner at Easter Road, believing Hibs can not be run by remote control.
Having struck a deal to buy the Capital club from Sir Tom Farmer – one which sees Hibs debt free six years ahead of schedule and enjoying a seven figure cash injection from the multi-millionaire – Gordon is determined to maximise the opportunities he sees for what he described as “a phenomenal club”.
And although he’s unlikely to be seen around Easter Road on a daily basis, he said: “I won’t be switching here full-time, but I will be here a lot. I want to be as involved as I can be. An investment like this is not insignificant and not something that you do my remote control.
“You have to have a phenomenal team, and Hibs have that. I am sure I will be talking to (chief executive) Leeann Dempster often. I think it is important that I be here to build relationships in the community as a whole as well as the business community.
“Hibs is a phenomenal brand on a business level. It needs to be in the community and be out there doing things. It needs to be in partnerships with other great Scottish brands. There are opportunities to do those sort of things.”
Gordon, who made his money in a television production company, beginning with just $200 and building it over 35 years before selling it for significantly more – although he was coy about revealing exactly how much – feels his own business background can help him do exactly that in Edinburgh.
He said: “I think I can bring a little bit of that. In the media business, that’s is what it’s all about. It’s about creating expectations and a product that’s abstract.
“Here, obviously, we have a product in a team and an event, but more importantly to me, this is a contents opportunity and a passion and engagement opportunity. In today’s media world, everything is so available right now, but sports is really a passion point for people.
“They buy it, they breathe it and they enjoy it every day. This is a great opportunity to do something special.”
While insisting he’ll need a few months to absorb, learn and think about what is going on, Gordon admitted further investment for the longer-term benefit of Hibs is more than likely.
He said: “I think I would look to invest in an organisation that can produce results consistently. We should not make any bets on any one player or something like that.
‘We need to build an infrastructure that consistently delivers results year in and year out and that we are competing.
“I would look at two pillars that would be great investments for the club.
“An indoor facility so that we can attract the best players and the best youth players and provide the community with a great facility in which to enjoy football.
“Secondly the academy. We would want the academy to be the best in Scotland. I don’t know what that would take, but those are the two pillars that have long term repercussions and impact for the club.”
Born in Peru, Gordon moved to the United States at the age of 15 when his mother married an America before his stepfather’s work took the family to Australia, later returning to the States where he went to Syracuse University.
But, revealed Gordon, he does have Scottish connections, his grandfather having emigrated to South America in 1908.
He said: “My family is originally from Tomintoul in the Highlands. I took my family seven years ago on a roots trip.
“We went to Aberdeen, to Huntly Castle and a little farm where my ancestors are buried. Obviously I wouldn’t make an investment in a club like this for that reason, but it makes an investment in Scotland that much more special.”