New Hibs owner Ron Gordon reveals ambitious plans for club – including double player budget

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Hibs owner Ron Gordon has revealed that he plans to double the player budget by 2023 and oversee a 100 per cent increase in the club’s turnover over the next five years.

The American businessman outlined his ambitious five-year strategic vision for the Leith outfit yesterday afternoon ahead Wednesday evening’s AGM.

Gordon, who succeeded former owner Sir Tom Farmer last July, has made it clear he wants Hibs competing in the top four of the Scottish Premiership and in both cup competitions on a consistent basis.

His plans for radically growing the resources available to the football department will be built on the foundation of doubling turnover, which currently stands at around £10 million.

The latest available figures regarding staff costs, including non-playing personnel, showed Hibs spent £6.3 million for the year to summer 2019.

“I think our goal over the next three years is to double our (player) budget that we have right now,” said Gordon.

“There are no guarantees in football, just because you have the most money does not mean you’re going to win.

“It does give us the possibility that we can be more competitive on a consistent basis.

‘We want to be in top four of every competition, league and cups, and hopefully being in Europe on a consistent basis; significant aspiration but not out of the bounds of possibility.

“It goes back to the whole idea of growing the business side, if we can increase our revenues, which if you look at Scottish football right now we’re fifth from a turnover perspective and I’d like us to be fourth, third. 

“We have a long way to go because Aberdeen has a substantially higher budget and turnover, the same thing with Hearts. 

“We need to move up that ladder.”

Ambitious

Gordon, who has already ploughed £3.5 million of his own money into the club, added: “A lot of the funds that are going to be generated operationally are going to go into he football programme.

“It’s (doubling turnover) a very ambitious goal. Turnover this year will probably be at £10 million, £10.8 million was last year with European income.

“We want to run a financially sound and sustainable business, an innovative business, one that is creative, a leader.”

Scottish football 

Increasing that turnover centres on securing lucrative commercial and sponsorship deals, an area where, Gordon insists, Scottish football has toiled.

Gordon, who also wants to build a new full-size indoor football facility, added: “Other than Celtic, which probably has a massive portfolio of partners at a substantial price, the rest of the clubs I think are all struggling. 

“I find it amazing, maybe I’m being naive or foolish but is there a more emotional connector in Scottish life than football?

“I think football has a level of emotional connection in Scotland that is amazing, it’s one of the things that attracted me to this club.

“I think we undersell that because we need to have more money in the game.”

Reminded the Ladbrokes and William Hill were ending their sponsorship of the SPFL and Scottish Cup respectively, Gordon added: “This is not healthy for the game.

“One of my biggest beefs with the SPFL is that we don’t do enough to promote the game, to grow the game – to give it value.”

Fans

Gordon also talked of forming relationship with other clubs, maintaining and building on the strong links with the community, improving the match-day experience for supporters, and enhancing the Hibs’ brand.

He added: “I try to talk with supporters as much as I can. I enjoy that and it’s part of my responsibility.

“I want to talk with them. I know I’m called the ‘invisible man’ but it’s not because I’m quiet – I’m not a quiet person at all.

“We have been busy trying to build a vision with the club and now we need to execute.

“Maybe we won’t do everything in the timeframe we want but I’m confident we can advance every area of the club.”

 
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