Club seeks stability

Hibs owner vows not to rush Maloney replacement

Ronald Gordon
Ron Gordon: ‘unacceptable results’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Hibernian owner Ron Gordon has said Shaun Maloney’s sacking on Tuesday was down to “unacceptable” results, but said he took his share of the responsibility, stating that the decision to bring in the former Scotland international was “rushed.”

The US businessman said the Edinburgh club was now seeking the “stability” that would be produced by a more experienced replacement.

Gordon dismissed Jack Ross in early December with the club third in the league and thought Maloney would improve the quality of football gained from his experience as assistant to Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.

But results have been poor, with only three wins from 15 league games, leaving the club teetering close to the drop zone.

“We took a risk bringing Shaun in,” Gordon said yesterday. “The whole idea was to continue to improve and build and unfortunately that did not pan out. It was a risk and I have to take full responsibility for that. I can look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘what are you doing?’

The 39-year-old’s 19-game reign was brought to an abrupt end at the East Mains training ground on Tuesday morning. It followed what has been described as a “bitter exchange” between Maloney and chief executive Ben Kensell.

Shaun Maloney
Shaun Maloney: short tenure (pic: SNS Group)

Gordon added: “Ultimately when you look at the results, it’s just really not acceptable. We came to the conclusion on on Monday, I think fairly decisively that we needed to make a change that it was the best thing for the club.”

He said the board had considered giving him more time. “All those things were discussed in full. But ultimately, the decision of the board was to make a change.”

Former Celtic and Scotland international Scott Brown has been mentioned as a potential successor. Brown enjoyed five years as a player at the Edinburgh club and is without a club after leaving Aberdeen. However, he may not fit with Gordon’s plan to see out an experienced coach.

Another former player, Kevin Thomson, has impressed at Kelty Hearts and was interviewed for the Kilmarnock job before Derek McInnes was hired. Ex-Scotland and Celtic player Paul Lambert is a contender along with Malky Mackay, Celtic number two John Kennedy and Scotland assistant John Carver. An outsider touted by some is Sean Dyche who was despatched by Burnley and understands how to work on a tight budget at the highest level.

First-team coach David Gray will take the team until the end of the season, assisted by Eddie May and goalkeeping coach Jon Busch.



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