Leeann Dempster vows to back new boss in January transfer market as Hibs chief executive sets timeframe for appointment


LEEANN DEMPSTER has confirmed that Hibernian intend to appoint a new head coach by the end of the month – and has vowed to give the incoming boss funds in January.

The capital club are on the hunt for a successor to Paul Heckingbottom after the Englishman was dismissed on Monday evening and it will represent the first appointment overseen by new owner Ron Gordon following his summer takeover.

Nevertheless, Easter Road chief executive Dempster has revealed that she will ‘lead’ the process and be assisted by Gordon and sporting director Graeme Mathie.

Despite Jack Ross being installed and firm favourite yesterday, Dempster is adamant ‘there’s no outstanding front-runner’ and has vowed to cast a ‘relatively wide net’.

However, she remains hopeful that a new boss will be in place by the end of November.

“This will be the fourth time we’ve recruited here. The process is ongoing and I’ll lead that, supported by Graeme Mathie and our new chairman Ron Gordon,” explained Dempster.

“This will be his [Gordon’s] first opportunity to have that experience as well. The three of us will be pushing on with that. We want to try and get the appointment right and we’ll take as much time as we need to do that.

“I would hope that we’ll have someone in place by the end of the month. That would be a loose target.

“It’s a relatively wide net. We’re in the position where we have to go through things properly and make considerations. There’s no outstanding ‘front-runner’.

“We’re very open-minded in terms of the individual we’re looking for but we’ll go through the process as we have in the past. We’re determined to find the right person and people.”

Heckingbottom departed Hibs in the aftermath of Saturday’s 5-2 Betfred Cup semi-final defeat against Celtic and with the club toiling in 10th place in the Premiership.

He ultimately paid the price for an errant summer of recruitment as results tanked, with the vast majority of his signings failing to hit the ground running in Edinburgh.

Scott Allan has shone but was a Neil Lennon pre-contract signing, Tom James has impressed and Melker Hallberg and Jason Naismith have been consistent when fit. The likes of Joe Newell and £350,000 signing Christian Doidge have been high-profile failures to date.

The lack of steel in midfield has also been unforgivable, making the decisions to allow Mark Milligan and Marvin Bartley leave the club all the more inexplicable.

And Dempster has vowed to make funds available for the incoming manager to bolster the squad in January.

“I think it’s fair to say, with some hindsight, that there are areas we want to strengthen,” Dempster told Hibs TV. “The work will be done in January to try and do that.

“If we lived our life in hindsight we’d be winning the Champions League.

“We make choices and changes as they come towards us. The challenge will be on the guys in recruitment to make the adjustments we need in January because I think it’s obvious that we need a few.”