BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster insists the capture of Scotland Under-21 captain John McGinn illustrates how ambitious the Leith outfit are.
The Easter Road side agreed a six-figure development fee with St Mirren and managed to persuade the 20-year-old to join Alan Stubbs’ side despite interest from Houston Dynamo in the MLS, Dundee United and teams in England.
The arrival of McGinn came at the end of a week that also saw head coach Stubbs sign a new two-year deal, while the club refused to buckle under the pressure of Scott Allan’s attempts to push through a switch to Rangers.
And Dempster believes their decision to sign McGinn sends out a statement of intent.
She said: “It shows our ambition and to reassure the fans we’re serious about our push for promotion.
“We want to bring the best young players to the club. We have a significant budget given the environment we’re in.
“We’ve maintained the infrastructure of a Premiership club and a fee was paid for John McGinn.
“The fans have a part to play and if more players are going to come then we need them to come back as they have already done in great numbers.
“Supporters are challenging us to show our ambition and we’re trying to do that within the realms of what we can achieve in the Championship and the challenges that presents.
“The more they step forward the more we can do.”
Despite failure to achieve promotion from the Championship last season, Dempster is convinced that Stubbs and the coaching team of John Doolan and Andy Holden can lead Hibs back to the top-flight.
She added “We’ve been thinking about the bigger ambition and direction of the club and I believe that what Alan and his team have done deserves a new deal.
“For us it’s about having them committed to the club and I think it’s a massive statement.
“I know they’re delighted to be here and like the working relationship they have with us.
“If we hadn’t acted then Alan would have a season left and we’d be going into a season with the manager leaving at the end of the campaign.”