Billy Brown given Hibs caretaker role

Billy Brown and Colin Calderwood
Brown had been appointed as Calderwood's assistant in September

Hibernian have appointed assistant boss Billy Brown as interim manager after the sacking of Colin Calderwood.

The club have announced that Brown will take control of the squad over the international break as they prepare to face Kilmarnock on 19 November.

Hibs also revealed that executive director Scott Lindsay and managing director Fife Hyland will lead the recruitment process for a new manager.

Fans had been critical of chairman Rod Petrie's role in recent appointments.

And he and the club's board were the subject of protests after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to Dunfermline Athletic.

Calderwood, who left with his side sitting a point off the bottom of the Scottish Premier League table, was the ninth manager to be appointed since Petrie became managing director in 1997 a year after joining the board.

Former Hibs midfielder Michael O'Neill, who has led Shamrock Rovers into the Europa League group stage for the first time in the Irish champions' history, is the bookmakers' favourite to become the Edinburgh club's fifth boss in less than four years.

Musselburgh-born Brown, who would become a manager in his own right for the first time at the age of 60 should he be given the job full-time, is second favourite.

Hibs' caretaker, who played for Motherwell and Raith Rovers, has spent his coaching career as assistant to Jim Jefferies, with whom he was sacked by Edinburgh rivals Hearts in August.

Bookmakers make Jefferies, who also managed Berwick Rangers, Falkirk, Bradford City and Kilmarnock, third favourite to take over at Easter Road.

Calderwood's sacking came two days before the club's annual meeting, his predecessor, John Hughes, having suffered the same fate on the morning of the agm.

However, Frank Dougan, the retired treasurer of the Hibs Supporters Association, insisted that the former Scotland international's departure would not prevent the board coming under scrutiny and criticism.

"It is no surprise," he said. "You could have put money on that happening.

"We have gone through so many managers in the past eight or nine years, but there is one man who is still there - Petrie."

Hibs last month posted their first annual deficit - £900,000 - in seven years and reportedly rejected compensation for Calderwood during the summer, when he was wanted by both Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest as assistant manager.

"They had the chance to get money for him in the summer and didn't take it," said Dougan.

"Questions have to be asked of Petrie and the whole board and I, for one, will be asking them at the agm.

"There is no point in appointing new managers every year.

"There is no continuity at the club. It is a disgrace."