Hibernian owner discusses selling players amidst Celtic link to Kevin Nisbet

By David Walton

May 20, 2021

Hibernian owner Ron Gordon has admitted his club are in a “difficult” financial position amid the recent Celtic link to Kevin Nisbet.

The Scottish Sun reported last week that the Hoops are eyeing up the Easter Road striker as a potential summer target. It was claimed by the source that the Hibees may want as much as £3million for his signature.

Nisbet has been an absolute sensation in the Premiership this year. He’s bagged 18 goals and eight assists in 43 appearances this term [Transfermarkt]. He would then cap off his campaign by bagging a spot at Euro 2020 yesterday with Scotland.

And Gordon has opened up on the position Hibs are in as we head into the summer window. Whilst he outlined his intention to hold onto his star players, he admitted they should allow players the opportunity to maximise their potential.

“We’re bleeding our cash”

Speaking on the Que Golazo Podcast, Gordon said: “From a financial perspective, we took a big haircut. One of the great things in my investment in Hibs was that I was able to eliminate the debt and infuse some cash into the club and put it into a position where it was sitting pretty, let’s say.

“A year-and-a-half later, we’re bleeding our cash and we’re in a difficult position. But despite that we’ve done some great things. We’ve managed to re-loan our cash, we’ve got some great supporters and the season ticket holders supported the club. Thanks to them we’ve been able to perform as we have.

“In the past, the club has had a reputation for selling players very quickly and getting cash in the door. I’m of a different opinion in that I think we have to build a competitive team. There will be times when we have to sell, no doubt. That’s part of the business of football. But ultimately my number one goal is to compete. You have to find balance.

“The club’s needs and sometimes the players. For them, the opportunity to go and play in the Premier League or Championship in England is an opportunity to make more money. You have a career of 10, 15 years as a football player and we want to make sure our guys have the chance to maximise that opportunity.”

 Hibernian sound open to offers as Celtic look at Kevin Nisbet

Gordon is clearly trying not to upset fans too much here. He’s trying to find that balance between keeping supporters happy and being realistic about the situation.

The facts are that Covid has struck everyone hard. For clubs like Hibs, however, it will have been more harmful than most. The losses they’ll have made in recent months simply needs to be plugged somehow. Player sales are one of the key ways to do just that.

Celtic will still need to respect Hibs with any offer for Nisbet. It’s not as if the Easter Road club will go under if they can’t agree a fee with the Hoops. However, £3m appears enough for them to do ball given everything that’s happened over the last year.

Kevin Nisbet scoring for Hibs in the Scottish Cup / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic have had difficult scenarios in the past when negotiating with former Hibs owner Rod Petrie. It remains to be seen if Gordon is just as difficult to get a deal done with. But if the Hoops throw as much as £3m on the table, that would surely be extremely tempting.

At the end of the day, Celtic and Hibs both need to be business savvy. If we smell blood with regards to the Leith club’s finances, we can use it to our advantage. Not to the extent that we need to be disrespectful with our offers, but in the knowledge that Hibs are in a position where they may not need to negotiate as vigorously as in the past.

These comments from Gordon certainly sound promising. Hopefully, we can come to an agreement to bag one of Scotland’s hottest young prospects.

In other news, a talent Celtic fans were impressed with last month has identified where he wants to go next.