US stake

Hibs get fans backing for Foley’s £6m investment

Ben Kensell: groundbreaking (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Hibernian Football Club hailed a “game-changing” moment that could transform the game after US billionaire Bill Foley’s planned multi-million pound investment was approved at its AGM.

After addressing a packed meeting at Easter Road stadium, chairman Malcolm McPherson described the investment as “the best thing that has happened to the club”.

The vote in favour of Mr Foley investing an initial £6m for a 25% stake followed the Scottish Football Association’s approval of the deal after the club gave a number of undertakings. The Gordon family will see its controlling stake fall from 67% to about 60%.

The AFC Bournemouth owner will invest through his Black Knight Football Club vehicle. The 79-year-old is also a minority shareholder in French club Lorient and US National Hockey League champions Vegas Golden Knights.

The deal will see investment in Hibs’ playing squad and in infrastructure to help it meet its goal of regular European football and challenging for domestic honours. The club believes that it will be good for the game to provide Rangers and Celtic with stronger competition.

Malcolm McPherson and Kit Gordon after the AGM (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Hibs owner Ian Gordon and chief executive Ben Kensell had worked for months pulling the deal together and after the AGM Mr Kensell said there was a great sense of unity around the club and with the supporters.

Mr Kensell said there are likely to be two seats on the board for representatives of Black Knight but he was not sure if Mr Foley will be one of them. He said he is expected to attend a match before the end of the season.

Kit Gordon, widow of Ron Gordon, said her late husband was passionate about the club. “We are here to continue his legacy,” she said.

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