BY ALAN TEMPLE, Rotherham – @CCP_Sport
Delighted Millers chairman Tony Stewart believes Hibernian will be reeling after Alan Stubbs quit Easter Road to take the reins at Rotherham, insisting he has captured a gem.
Stubbs, 44, officially joined the SkyBet Championship outfit last night, just 11 days after assuming legendary status among Hibees by guiding the club to their first Scottish Cup triumph in 114 years.
The two clubs were locked in talks throughout yesterday, with initial plans for a 2 p.m. press conference to announce their new boss put on ice by Rotherham as the parties thrashed out a fee for Hibs’ management team.
However, when it became apparent they could not reach a settlement with the capital club, Stubbs and his assistant, John Doolan, made the decision to resign in order to finalise their moves.
Rotherham will now pay a compensation fee dictated by a tribunal for the duo, who have both signed three-year contracts.
Another of Stubbs’ trusted lieutenants at Hibs, Andy Holden, was not yet a Rotherham employee last night, however it is understood he will also join the Millers’ coaching team once his release has been secured.
And the colourful Rotherham supremo could barely contain his delight.
“We have seen what Alan and John have done and we’ve heard plenty of compliments coming from Scotland,” lauded Stewart. “We’ve taken that on board and his achievements speak for themselves.
“It’s really unfortunate for Hibs. However, it’s an opportunity for Rotherham, that’s how we look at it and it’s an adventure we are all looking forward to.
“That’s life, people get headhunted, people come and go. It’s part of football, it happens to players, managers, they do move about and we feel fortunate to get Alan.
“We think it is a really good catch. He wanted it, we wanted it – it’s a lovely marriage. We are ambitious and so is Alan – so we are hopeful that is a cocktail which will stand us in good stead.
“Alan and John have plenty of energy and quality and we are looking forward to a positive future and really developing in our third season in the Championship.”
While Stubbs agonised over the decision to leave Hibs, the draw of the English Championship proved too much to resist.
He will be afforded a much larger budget in South Yorkshire than he was at Easter Road, while crossing swords with the likes of Newcastle United, Aston Villa and QPR on a weekly basis was an attractive proposition.
There were also personal factors behind the moves, with Stubbs and Doolan now both considerably closer to their respective families after making the switch to Rotherham.
Stubbs will be officially unveiled to the media at a press conference at the New York Stadium at noon on Thursday.