US-based businessman Ron Gordon takes control of Hibernian
United States-based businessman Ron Gordon has taken control of Hibernian as the Edinburgh club changed hands for the first time in 28 years.
Gordon has acquired the majority shareholding from HFC Holdings, a company owned by Sir Tom Farmer and outgoing chairman Rod Petrie.
Hibs say Gordon, who will become executive chairman, has also provided a seven-figure cash injection to the Ladbrokes Premiership club.
Peru-born Gordon, whose grandfather emigrated from Scotland in 1908, previously owned broadcasting company ZGS Communications and is a founder and director of a community bank in Washington DC.
Supporter shareholders will own about a third of the club following the transaction.
Kwik-Fit founder Farmer said in a statement: “From the day supporters asked me to get involved to help save the club back in 1991 this day was always going to come.
“There have been approaches over the years, and we have done them all the courtesy of hearing what they had to say. Ron’s passion for Hibernian and its origins and his commitment to the community and the engagement he wants with supporters shone through.”
Gordon, who moved to the US aged 15, added: “I had a great first conversation with Sir Tom. We swapped stories from our childhood and compared our approach to business.
“There are many similarities and those values are evident in Hibernian not only as an outstanding football club but also its engagement with young people and through the Hibernian Community Foundation. That it is such a well-run club was one of the major attractions for me.”
Hibs say Gordon is backing the board’s existing plans and the executive leadership and football management team, including head coach Paul Heckingbottom.
The club added that they were now debt-free, six years ahead of schedule.
Petrie, who was recently appointed Scottish Football Association president, said: “In agreeing this transition, Sir Tom and Ron have put the football club first and everyone should recognise and applaud that.
“The legacy of Sir Tom’s tenure is not just the club’s infrastructure – our magnificent stadium and training centre – but also the imperative that the club should live within its means to ensure its stability and wellbeing.
“During that time, the club reached nine cup finals, won the League Cup twice and the long-awaited Scottish Cup in 2016. There were also 10 campaigns in Europe.”
Chief executive Leeann Dempster added: “Everyone at the club is excited about the future.
“Ron is a man who loves football and who is determined to bring a bright future to the club. He buys into everything we are trying to achieve at Hibernian through our structure and our vision and he brings a wealth of experience in business to add value to that.”
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