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Dempster: I will appoint the coach to take us up

Leeann Dempster was insistent that she led the sacking of Terry Butcher and is adamant that she will also be in charge of appointing Hibernian's next manager.

Leeann Dempster insists she was the driving force behind the sacking of Terry Butcher and she will be the person who chooses his successor. Picture: SNS
Leeann Dempster insists she was the driving force behind the sacking of Terry Butcher and she will be the person who chooses his successor. Picture: SNS

The new chief executive has spent just a week in her new post since leaving Motherwell but has already made a major impact in a bid to turn around the ailing capital outfit's fortunes in the wake of their relegation from the SPFL Premiership.

The Easter Road club are now seeking an eighth manager in just 10 years after showdown talks with Butcher on Monday, which also involved the maligned chairman Rod Petrie, led to yesterday's 'unanimous' decision of the board to dispense with the former England captain's services after a mere seven months in charge.

Dempster was glowing in her assessment of Stuart McCall's credentials as manager following their work together at Fir Park, but she said it would be 'disrespectful' to her previous club for the former Scotland midfielder to be viewed as Butcher's successor-in-waiting.

Others linked with the post include the Dumbarton manager and former Hibs captain Ian Murray, Owen Coyle and the former Hibernian managers Alex McLeish and Tony Mowbray, but Dempster was clear last night that the club would take their time in getting the next appointment right.

Butcher said in the immediate aftermatch of last month's relegation following defeat by Hamilton Academical that he wanted time to reverse the club's decline, but it was not to be and Dempster said it was she who made the recommendation that the former Motherwell and Inverness manager's time was already up.

Supporters calling for the removal of Petrie from the club's decision-making process will baulk at the news that Petrie was also involved in Monday's discussions with Butcher, but Dempster was confident in her autonomy in making both that ­decision and the next one.

She said: "I think it's fair to say it's been a stressful week and, indeed, the last 48 hours have been pretty significant. It was a challenging decision.

"I said at the weekend we were going to have a conversation with the manager and we had that on Monday. I spent some time with Terry, quite a lot of time, and we had a very honest and pretty direct conversation, and we decided to leave it at that.

"We then had a board meeting this morning and we took a unanimous decision that Terry would leave the club.

"We felt it was time for

a fresh approach. We've got

a big challenge ahead and we debated, we had a discussion, as boards do. I reflected the nature of the discussions

Terry and I had, and we

took a decision - and it was

a unanimous one.

"It's very unfortunate and

I'm very saddened by it, if I'm perfectly honest. It absolutely was not one of the first tasks

I had in mind when I came to the football club. But I can't look back, I have to look forward. We need to recruit

a new manager and that task starts now.

"Terry is a real professional. Obviously, he's disappointed, we're disappointed, but you've got to give him credit because he took the news as well

as some would expect.

"[To sack Terry] was a board decision but it was myself

that led most of the meeting yesterday with Terry. If you like, I took the recommendation to the board. We discussed it and debated it and, as any board does, we had a decision

to make and we made it.

"There is a board in place but the new appointment will be on my recommendation, I think

it has to be if I am going to

be the person that is working directly with the manager."

Dempster's previous work with McCall at Fir Park will make speculation surrounding the Motherwell manager natural and Hibs' new chief executive did not dismiss the notion when pressed on the link.

She added: "Stuart is an absolutely fantastic manager. He has done tremendously well for Motherwell. It would be disrespectful to Motherwell

to even comment on that and don't take from that, that it means it's going to happen. That's the first thing that people will think, but Stuart's in a job, he has a club and I need to start looking wider."

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