By: Hibernian Media on 07 Nov, 2019 12:01
Hibernian chairman Ron Gordon sat down with Hibs TV to explain his role in the search for a new Head Coach.
With the Annual General Meeting on the horizon – where he will outline his plans for the club to shareholders and the wider support – Ron also explained the work that has been going on to bolster every department, with the stated goal of investing any additional revenue back into the football club.
Ron, you’ve been over for another extended visit, and the plan was for you to talk about some of the things the club has been working on but, clearly, the main story this week is the departure of Paul and Robbie.
I’d start by saying that it’s always good when ‘The Invisible Man’ makes an appearance! I’m happy to be here, although it’s been a difficult week. I would echo the feeling around the club, that Paul and Robbie made a real contribution and worked very hard to try and get us to where we want to be. But sometimes these things happen in football. It’s been a little bit of a turbulent time but I think the club’s strong and will sail through that as it has in the past and will do so again in the future.
What’s your role going to be in the recruitment of the new Head Coach?
It’ll be as I’ve seen my role from the very beginning. I think we have very strong leadership in Leeann Dempster and Graeme Mathie. I want to let them do what they do best and to be there to support them. I think, ultimately, we need to look at what the vision for the club is and they’re part of that in terms of what the football standards and goals we have look like. They’re there to lead and run the show. My goal is to support them.
You made a reference to yourself, tongue in cheek, as being the ‘The Invisible Man’. That’s been the comment from some people given you haven’t said too much in public recently. What’s the reality?
I’m engaged every day in the things that are going on at the club and I’m certainly tuned into the games. I may not be here all the time but I’m very aware of what’s going on. This is not an investment that was made, on my part, for me not to be involved. I’m very engaged and I think the whole group at Easter Road and HTC is very engaged in the kind of progress that we want to make as a club.
There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes…
For the last three months we’ve been working on initiatives around different aspects of the club – which includes the matchday experience at Easter Road, capital investments that need to be made here and, now, some of the things we want the football programme to be all about. That is all going to come together in the strategic plan that we hope to have completed by the end of this year. My goal is to present it to the board by the end of December and then share it with our supporters and shareholders at the start of next year. Initially, for me, the idea of the first three to six months was to learn, see what’s going on and absorb some of the possibilities with the team. That’s what we’re doing right now. We’re putting the pieces together, prioritising the kind of things we want to do as a club and turn that into an actionable plan.
You’ve said before that your objective is to drive up revenue to invest back into the football club.
Absolutely. At the end of the day, for us to be a successful club we need to be growing. The financial growth of the club will all be reinvested in the football because that’s our product. What I’d like to see is growth in the top line of the club. If we can do that then that’s more resources for us to invest in our first team, the football programme and the development of players within our Academy. I think, if we can get that right, the club will be on a very positive ascendancy.
You’ve been out and about a lot in Edinburgh, meeting supporters everywhere you go. They’ve had a lot of suggestions for you but some of them are maybe things you’ve been working on in the background?
We are absolutely listening to supporters and it’s not like we’re not in tune with what they’re telling us. We’re incorporating that into our thinking. We want to be a better club. The supporters are a great focus group for the kinds of things that we need to be doing. I’m sure we’ll incorporate many of the things that the supporters would like to see at Easter Road. This gives me an opportunity to thank supporters. I had the chance to go to Hampden last weekend. To see the energy and support they brought to the game and the team, it’s wonderful to see. I just encourage them all to think that we need their support on the good days and the bad days. I know we’ve had some difficult days over the past few months but it’s important they stay with the team and help the squad play to their full potential to get good results. The history and legacy of Hibernian is something to build on. There’s character and perseverance in the DNA. When we go through difficult times we know there are good times ahead and that’s what we’re all working for.