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NEW OWNER OUTLINES HIS MASTERPLAN

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NEW Hibs owner Ronald Gordon has explained the reasons behind his remarkable takeover of the Edinburgh club.

The 64-year-old multi-millionaire believes he knows a good investment when he sees it, so he did not hesitate to put his cash into the Premiership side.

Peruvian-born Gordon, who was brought up in America, is proud of his Scottish family connections and, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I have been looking for a football opportunity for about three years.

“I really wanted to get into the game, I have loved football since I was a child.

“I looked at clubs in four countries – Scotland, England, Spain and the US. I made expressions of interest in one club in England, not in the Premier League.

“At the end of the day, once the Hibs opportunity became live, that was it.

“My family is originally from Scotland, a place called Tomintoul in the Highlands.

“I took my family seven years ago on a roots trip so we went to Aberdeen, we went to Huntly Castle where my ancestors are buried.

“Obviously, I wouldn’t make an investment in a club like this for that reason, but it makes an investment in Scotland that much more special.

“I looked at several clubs, but when I looked at Hibs and reached out to Rod Petrie it became clear to me that this was a very special club. Hibs have a lot of positive things – an incredible fanbase as well as great infrastructure and great leadership.”

Gordon started his own media company ZGS Communications for junder £200 and sold it to Comcast/NBC Universal in 2017, banking £60million.

THE MEN IN THE DUG-OUT…Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom and assistant Gary Murray with Celtic gaffer Neil Lennon before the goalless draw last season.

He continued: “I was born in Peru. My mother married an American and that’s how I came to leave Peru and became a US citizen when I moved there at 15. I then went to Australia because my stepfather was in the foreign service, so I finished my schooling there.

“I went back to the US and Syracuse University and when I was 29 I started a TV production company.”

Gordon is now determined to build Hibs an indoor facility that will be the envy of most clubs in Britain as part of a two-part plan for the club’s success.

He added: “I think I would look to invest in an organisation that can produce results consistently.

“We should not make any bets on any one player or something like that.\“We need to build an infrastructure that consistently delivers results year in and year out and that we are competing.

“I would look at two pillars that would be great investments for the club.
“An indoor facility so that we can attract the best players and the best youth players and provide the community with a great facility in which to enjoy football.

“Secondly, the academy. We would want the academy to be the best in Scotland.

“I don’t know what that would take and those are the two pillars that have long-term repercussions and impact for the club.
“I won’t be switching and living over in Scotland full-time, but I will be here a lot..

“I met the Hibs manager (Paul Heckingbottom) two or three months ago.

“We had a very nice chat and he seems to be doing a great job.

“I’m very encouraged to give him the support he needs to build a team that can succeed.

“I’m going to the League Cup game against Arbroath.”

Meanwhile, new keeper Chris Maxwell is Hibs’ sixth summer signing after agreeing a loan switch from Preston.

The shotstopper, who has signed a season-long temporary transfer, has also played for Wrexham, Fleetwood and Cambridge.

Maxwell said: “The manager explained to me what the ambitions were for the club and I think it’s for everyone to see that it is a massive club and the aspiration should be to play in Europe. The manager outlined that these last few weeks and it’s something I want to be part of.”

He will be battling it out with Israeli internationalist Ofir Marciano for the gloves, a fight he admitted he’s relishing, Heckingbottom having told them they’ll be getting equal minutes on the pitch throughout pre-season.

Easter Road gaffer Heckingbottom added: “We were short of a goalkeeper with Adam Bogdan’s loan expiring and Chris ticked every box for us.

“He has good experience, he’s a presence in goal with good distribution that will help us build from the back. We have an excellent goalkeeper in Ofir, but we weren’t looking for someone content to be number two.

“We want a fair fight and whoever starts the season in goal will deserve it.”

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About Author

Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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