Hibs target ’Well for new ‘signing’

Leanne Dempster with James McFadden
Leanne Dempster with James McFadden

Motherwell chief executive Leeann Dempster is to join Hibs after six years at Fir Park - and admits she will leave ‘with a heavy heart’.

The news comes days after Dempster gave an interview on ’Well’s financial situation when she was reported as saying the last year has been ‘really, really hard’.

The club set up The Well Society in 2011 with a target of raising £1.5 million which would give fans a controlling stake.

It’s understood they remain well short of that target and Dempster was reported as saying the club have taken out third party loans and borrowed from directors and the Well Society to make ends meet.

However, there was no suggestion in Dempster’s statement on the Motherwell website that she has become disillusioned with the struggle to boost income at a club where home attendances often fall short of 5,000.

She said: “I have enjoyed every minute. It’s hard not to fall in love with Fir Park.”

Dempster will take over the day-to-day running of Hibs from June 1 and chairman Rod Petrie said: “I am certain she will be a tremendously important ‘signing’. Leeann is an outstanding football leader with a proven track record.”

On the pitch ’Well aim to bounce back from their mauling at Tannadice when they welcome St Johnstone to Fir Park on Saturday. With three games left, they sit four points behind second-placed Aberdeen and four ahead of Dundee United.

Scottish Cup finalists Saints have been flying, but a ’Well win, and a United loss to Inverness, would see the Fir Parkers cement third place and qualify for Europe.