Hibernian AGM: Ron Gordon aims to double club turnover by 2025

Hibernian are currently sixth in the Premiership, five points off third place
Hibernian are currently sixth in the Premiership, five points off third place

Hibernian owner Ron Gordon says he has plans to increase turnover by 100% in the next five years and ensure the club compete regularly in Europe.

The Peru-born American spent £3.5m to take over at Easter Road last July, with a new audio system and big screen part of an "initial £1m investment".

But Gordon argues Scottish football is being held back by a ban on selling alcohol inside grounds.

"It's essentially a penalty on football," he said at the club's AGM.

"I don't know exactly what's the best way to approach it. The club's have a responsibility to police that and police themselves, but at least they should be given a chance to somehow get back to that.

"Obviously, the last thing we want is trouble, bad behaviour. England had the ban and they've been able to grow out of it. I don't see any reason why we can't.

"It's a big revenue stream. If we could do more, that would be phenomenal. But it will be good to get the league behind us and we got to get the government to give us a shot. In a healthy way it can be part of the matchday experience."

Alcohol at Scottish grounds has been prohibited since an infamous riot at the 1980 Scottish Cup final between Rangers and Celtic.

There is an exemption for corporate hospitality areas and there has been talk of a possible pilot scheme at Hampden, which is hosting four Euro 2020 matches this summer.

Exploring club partnerships

The Edinburgh club's current turnover is around £10m, with Gordon aiming to increase it by 50% by 2023, and 100% by 2025.

That would allow Hibs to double their player budget by 2023.

"We want to be in the top four and compete in every competition," said Gordon. "Being in Europe on a consistent basis is a very significant aspiration but not out of the realm of possibility.

"Second, and very importantly, we want to run a financially sound, sustainable and innovative business. We want to be a club that's at the forefront of the game, at the forefront of our civic responsibility.

"We have a long way to go because Aberdeen has a substantially higher number budget and turnover, the same thing with Hearts.

"We need to move up that ladder. It's a very ambitious goal. So a lot of the funds that are going to be generated operationally are going to go into the football programme."

Gordon said the women's team were at "forefront of our thinking" and is also looking to set up working relationships with clubs abroad and work on this has already begun.

"Three in Europe," he revealed. "We have two in the US that we can continue to look at. We're talking to one, for example, who has a phenomenal academy. We'd like to invite one of their coaches to come for a year and be an academy coach with us.

"A couple of those clubs are in the hundreds of millions [in terms of turnover] and we have a couple who are smaller but they are really good clubs."

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