Skip to main content

Jack Ross feels Hibs will miss Leeann Dempster after her departure

Celtic v Hibernian – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Steve Welsh)

Jack Ross believes Hibernian will miss Leeann Dempster after she leaves – but is also confident the chief executive’s departure will not hamper his plans for the January sales.

Dempster stepped into the breach to lead the re-organisation of the club after they was relegated in 2014.

Within two years she had presided over the Easter Road outfit’s first Scottish Cup win in 114 years.

Promotion back to the top-flight followed in 2017 and manager Ross believes that is the lasting legacy by which she will be remembered in Leith after announcing she is stepping down to spend more time with her family.

Ross – who has guided his side to their current position of fourth having been appointed by Dempster midway through last season – said: “When I took the job a new structure had just been put in place.

“Graeme Mathie was named sporting director, which has meant my interaction with Leeann has probably been less with some previous managers.

“However, that’s not to say her and I have not had a good working relationship and been in regular communication.

“I knew Leeann to an extent before I came to the club and that was part of the attraction.

“I spoke to her on more than one occasion before joining the club and the opinion I had of her was only reinforced when I met her.

“Her legacy will be the strongest thing when she leaves here, with the work that she’s done and the success that the club has had in that period, which includes winning the Scottish Cup.

“She’s leaving the club in a really good place and will undoubtedly be a really big miss.

“I spoke to her for a while yesterday so I know that when the moment comes to leave the club for the last time it will be hard because it’s been such a big part of her life for the last six-and-a-half years.”

But Ross is confident Hibs will not miss a beat when the transfer market opens in January, thanks to Mathie and club owner Ron Gordon.

“I spoke to Ron yesterday afternoon and I’m quite relaxed about it in terms of any impact on my side of things,” he said. “That’s not to be flippant about Leeann’s departure – far from it, as I’ve spoken at length about her significance.

“But I don’t see it having any major impact on our ability to do anything in January and the planning behind it.”

Hibs welcome James McPake’s Dundee to the capital on Saturday for their Betfred Cup second-round clash.

Ross’ team claimed a 4-1 win when the sides last met in the group stages just two weeks ago and the Hibs boss said: “I never pay too much attention to a team’s previous results because on any given day, a team can produce a performance or have moments of fortune.

“James does have good players in his squad and we saw that in parts of the game a couple of weeks ago.

“We’ll be as respectful this time as we were before the first match.”