Success off the field

Stubbs fired as Hibs boosted by Cup runs

Alan Stubbs leading Leith parade (photo by Terry Murden)
Alan Stubbs leading Leith parade (photo by Terry Murden)

Former Hibs boss Alan Stubbs has been sacked as manager of Rotherham United, just five months after guiding the Edinburgh club to its finest victory.

Stubbs left Easter Road after winning the Scottish Cup with expectations at the South Yorkshire club that he could lead them to a Championship promotion challenge.

Instead they sit bottom of the league after a sixth straight defeat. The board announced today that a “change of first team management was needed to give the club the best possible opportunity to preserve our Championship status.”

Also leaving is assistant manager John Doolan and first team coach Andy Holden with immediate effect.

Stubbs only won one out 14 matches with the Millers and leaves as statistically the club’s worst manager.

Stubbs disappointed Hibs fans by quitting only days after guiding the club to their first Scottish Cup success in 114 years.

That victory helped return Hibernian Football Club to profit after two years of making a loss.

The Easter Road outfit also reached the final of the League Cup and the play-offs in the Championship.

Income rocketed by £1.4 million, allowing the club to post a profit of £200,000 for the 11 months to June 30 against an £840,000 loss in the previous year.

Supporters now own almost a third of the club, following a share issue which injected £1.1m.

Figures show that staff costs also rose, from £3.4m to £3.8m, partially as a result of taking the club’s hospitality business in-house, although the rise in income meant the wages-to-turnover ratio fell from 61% to 54%.

As of 30 June, Hibs supporters owned 31.8% of the club, against 18.2% a year earlier.

Chairman Rod Petrie said: “The success of the share issue is down to the commitment made by supporters of the club. The board has used those funds, as it said it would, to help fund sporting ambition. And that sporting ambition turned into sporting success.”

Hibs have brought their financial year forward a month, to accommodate the new format of the League Cup,

Mr Petrie said: “The financial statements show a robust financial position. The club had cash balances of £2.5m and no external debt.

“The cash balance is required to fund the annual working capital cycle and the loss anticipated from being a Premiership club in the Championship. Clearly that budgeted loss may be mitigated by further sporting success.

“The sporting challenge now is promotion. Everyone at the club is focused on that. Almost 11,000 supporters have bought season tickets, the attendance at Easter Road for the first home league match of the season against Dunfermline was more than 16,000.”

“These are big numbers. The club needs this continued level of support to help fund a 
promotion season.”

In his notes to shareholders, Mr Petrie referred to the impact of the Cup final victory.

The trophy is held aloft and flag flies as Hibernian's open top bus nears the bottom of Leith Walk (photo by Terry Murden)
The trophy is held aloft and flag flies as Hibernian’s open top bus nears the bottom of Leith Walk (photo by Terry Murden)

“To say this was a momentous achievement for the club is a massive understatement given the anxiety and emotions which had pent up over the decades since previous wins.

“That was evident on the day at Hampden. Great joy and jubilation also was evident the next day and tens of thousands of supporters witnessed the open-top bus parade from the City Chamber to Leith Links.

“Who can look back on these events without a lump in their throat and a tear in their eye remembering all those who have gone before and who would have wished to share this achievement with us?”

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