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Hibernian owner insists his son is doing ‘a terrific job’ in recruitment role

Hibernian v Celtic – Premier Sports Cup – Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Hibernian owner Ron Gordon has defended his son’s performance in the recruitment department and stressed he does not personally decide which players to sign.

Ian Gordon was quietly appointed as the club’s head of recruitment in October following the departure of Graeme Mathie as sporting director.

The club’s recruitment structure and January transfer business has come under increased scrutiny after Shaun Maloney was sacked as manager on Tuesday after four months in the role.

Chairman Gordon explained more about how the scouting department works after defending the club’s decision to make a managerial change.

When asked about his son’s role, the Hibs owner said: “Personally, I think he’s doing a terrific job but it’s not just Ian, it’s the recruitment department. I think there are six people involved in recruitment. Ian is just the co-ordinator.

“He manages a group of people who are out there scouting and looking at potential recruits. He does the background work, he doesn’t make the decisions on who comes in.

“That is done by the manager…. there is a group of us who are involved in the decisions. It’s not Ian.

“Ian is the one that goes out and makes sure they are available, that they fit the profile we are looking for, that the manager is looking for, that it’s a development investment, that we can afford them. That’s the work the recruitment department does.

“It’s not the director of recruitment who decides who comes. It’s not an executive function at the club.

“I see the work they are doing, because I am looking at all the players they are evaluating. Shaun was very involved in this, as was Jack (Ross). It’s not like the recruitment goes and does its own thing. It doesn’t work like that.”

Maloney won his first two games in charge but only one more league game after the winter break ended in January.

That month saw Hibs sell star player Martin Boyle in a reported £3million deal and move on experienced players Jamie Murphy, Alex Gogic and Melker Hallberg.

Other than American forward Chris Mueller and former Hearts player Demetri Mitchell, Hibs brought in inexperienced signings such as Elias Melkersen, Ewan Henderson, Harry Clarke, Rocky Bushiri, Runar Hauge and Sylvester Jasper.

Gordon insisted “those players make us stronger” and claimed an injury list that saw Maloney without 11 players at one point was taken into account when his fate was sealed.

“For any club in any season, there are factors – injuries, trades, all kinds of different things – and we had the same,” he said.

“But from my perspective, and I think I have plenty of backers on this, the January window was a good window. We strengthened our squad.

“The only negative was losing Martin Boyle. He was a game changer but the money was just too good and I don’t think the club is in a position to stand in the way of Martin and his family getting the benefit of all the commitment he has put into Hibs and his career. That trade came late in the window.

“But, generally speaking, if you look at everyone that we brought in in January, I think we are a stronger club, and certainly a club that is strong enough to be in the top six.”

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