THERE are things we can say for certain about Jack Ross at Hibernian. He will be charming, charismatic and engaging. Staff working around the club will quickly come to enjoy being in his presence. He will look people in the eye when he talks to them and make everyone feel like they are a crucial part in taking the club forward.

He will be articulate and transparent. When he meets the media tomorrow, he will outline his vision for the club in as much detail as he possibly can. He will make ambitious, bold statements and mean them. By the time he has completed an exhausting round of interviews there won’t be a Hibs supporter anywhere not excited about what their new manager is going to deliver.

Ross will do all that and more. When he stepped into the crowd at St Mirren to speak to an angry supporter after a 3-0 defeat, he departed from what could have been an inflammatory scene to a round of applause. That is his way of operating. There won’t be any Paul Heckingbottom-style sly digs at the fans on his watch.

That same positivity will apply inside the dressing room, too. You could see how he visibly lifted a St Mirren squad that had looked deflated and lacked spirit.

Man-management is another strength. On all these fronts he will undoubtedly make a stellar first impression.

There are some things, though, that we can’t be certain of. Primarily that Ross is guaranteed to be a success at Easter Road. Hibs desperately need him to be after getting it wrong with Heckingbottom and, given Ross was hotly tipped for the role even before his predecessor was out the door, they have gone out and landed their No.1 target.

They won’t admit it, however, but there is also an element of risk involved in this appointment. Ross has never managed in the top division. Sunderland fans are split about his 17 months in charge there, while he couldn’t save Alloa Athletic from relegation.

At 43 he is still a relatively young manager and he has plenty of credit in the bank for the miracles he produced at St Mirren. His credentials for managing at this level, however, are still unproven.

There is a chance that St Mirren was just the perfect storm. Arriving at a reasonably-sized club toiling at the foot of the Championship, he was given funds to completely overhaul the squad in the January window and then kept them up – at Easter Road ironically – on the final day of the season.

With momentum building like a steam train, he then led the Paisley side to a runway title success the following season, backed in no small measure by some outstanding individual performances from Lewis Morgan in particular. He left that summer perhaps appreciating that was as good as it would likely get.

His two managerial stints either side of St Mirren, however, were a mixed bag. He spent just 10 months at part-time Alloa but couldn’t save them from relegation out of the Championship. When he moved on a few months later, however, it was on the back of a 10-game winning streak.

Judging his time at Sunderland is tricky as it is a basket-case of a club whose problems lie far beyond the incumbent in the dug-out.

The stated aim was to lead them back to the Championship but a late Charlton Athletic goal in the play-off final last season sunk that aspiration. When his contract was terminated in October Sunderland were sixth in the table, with some fans grumbling about the style of football.

St Mirren, though, are the club closest to Hibs in terms of stature and ambition. If he can replicate what he achieved there across two seasons then all parties should be on to a winner.

And another thing

It feels appropriate as we approach the end of the decade that the story that has loomed largest over Scottish sport for the past 10 years should rear its ugly head once again.

So much has been said and written over the past few days about HMRC’s handling of Rangers’ tax affairs that there is little need to revisit the details here. What can be deduced, however, from both the volume and vociferousness of the subsequent reaction to the Times’ story on Thursday is that people on both sides of the argument remain as exercised by this topic as they were seven years ago when it first arose.

Both remain entrenched in their views, with neither evidently moved to make even the smallest of concessions over the subsequent period.

Rangers fans remain convinced HMRC were heavy-handed in their treatment but that they emerged from the rubble with their club intact. Celtic fans (primarily) continue to oppose both of those views.

There are numerous examples of other seemingly seismic episodes in Scottish sport that have eventually fizzled out. The fatwa placed on Mo Johnston, for example, for signing for Rangers after turning down a return to Celtic has long since been called off. People have left that one in the past.

Scottish football, though, does not seem ready to move on from this one. We will probably still be hearing about Sevco, Craig Whyte and EBTs in another decade’s time.