Hibernian: Ronald Gordon takes ownership from Sir Tom Farmer

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'Hibs can decide how to spend seven-figure injection'

Hibernian are now debt free after being taken over by Peru-born, United States-based businessman Ronald Gordon.

Gordon, whose grandfather emigrated from Scotland in 1908, has lived in the US since the age of 15 and has a background in broadcasting and banking.

He has bought out Sir Tom Farmer - the owner since 1991 - and chairman Rod Petrie, who is leaving the board.

The deal eliminates mortgage debt of around £3m, with a "seven-figure cash injection" to come from Gordon.

Lifelong football fan Gordon becomes executive chairman at Easter Road, with Archie Paton, who assisted in the deal, joining the board in an non-executive capacity.

Hibs say he will back "the board's existing plans and the executive leadership and football management team".

"I know that Hibernian is the right club for me," said the 63-year-old.

"I am committed to working with supporters, other shareholders and everyone connected with Hibernian to build on Sir Tom's legacy and take the club forward. The new chapter will be one of progress and success."

'It's time for optimism'

Farmer, who turns 79 this month, said the "time is right" for him to pass on the stewardship of the Easter Road club.

He first stepped in to rescue the club from financial ruin following a failed takeover bid from then-Hearts owner Wallace Mercer.

"From the day supporters asked me to get involved to help save the club back in 1991 this day was always going to come," he said. "After 28 years of hard work we leave this club significantly better off than when we walked through the doors.

"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."

Chief executive Leeann Dempster said Gordon has "a genuine passion for the game and importantly recognises the role the club has in the community".

She added: "It's time for optimism. We're in good shape already and the addition of Ron will strengthen us."

Petrie, who had a 10% holding, recently took over as president of the Scottish FA.

Having been a Hibs board member for 22 years and chairman for 15 years, he said: "Sir Tom and Ron have put the 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 well-being."

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