BY IAIN COLLIN –[email protected]_sport
HIBERNIAN have been dealt a huge blow after head coach Alan Stubbs agreed a three-year deal to become Rotherham United’s new manager.
Stubbs asked for permission to speak with the Millers after an initial approach had been turned down and the Easter Road club ‘reluctantly’ granted his wishes on Monday.
That was a clear indication the 44-year-old was keen on joining the English Championship outfit.
He met with the Rotherham hierarchy on Tuesday afternoon and, following successful negotiations, agreement of a compensation fee of around £120,000 was the final part of the process.
Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart made Stubbs his number one target after holding interviews with a number of other candidates and was delighted to strike a deal with the former Celtic and Everton defender.
Stewart said on Tuesday night: “We were granted permission to speak with Alan and there has been a meeting.
“We have agreed terms on a deal for three years and both sides are happy with what’s what.
“The compensation is the only thing left to sort out and I’m hoping that will be a formality.
“Paul Douglas (CEO) is on with the compensation tonight (Tuesday). Hopefully Alan will sign tomorrow (Wednesday) and we can hold a press conference to unveil him.
“That’s the plan, we don’t expect any obstacles.”
Stubbs wrote his name into Hibs folklore less than a fortnight ago by leading the club to their first Scottish Cup triumph in 114 years and met with board members last week to plan for next season.
However, he has opted to turn his back on the opportunity of leading the Edinburgh outfit into the Europa League next month, and into a third successive Championship promotion battle, to chase his dream in the English game.
The England B cap, who has also been linked with the vacant manager’s posts at former club Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers in recent weeks, joined Hibs on a two-year contract in June 2014 and agreed a 12-month extension last summer.
But it was always expected he would at some point return south of the border, where he began his coaching career with boyhood idols Everton under the watchful eyes of David Moyes and Roberto Martinez.
After becoming the first Hibs boss to win the Scottish Cup since 1902 and having led the club to the League Cup final in March, he clearly feels the time is now right to take the next step in his managerial career whilst his stock is high.