Rother­ham con­firm in­ten­tion to ap­proach Hibs for Stubbs

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FRONT PAGE - NEIL CAMERON

ROTHER­HAM UNITED be­lieve they will be able to lure Alan Stubbs from Easter Road if they get per­mis­sion to speak to Hiber­nian’s Scot­tish Cup­win­ning man­ager.

The for­mer Celtic and Ever­ton player is the red-hot favourite to fill the va­cancy at the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship club who are ex­pected to con­tact Leeann Demp­ster, Hiber­nian’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, over the week­end. While Stubbs and Demp­ster met on Thurs­day to lay down plans for next sea­son, the 44-year-old, who was a con­tender the last time the Rother­ham job came up in Oc­to­ber, could well be tempted with a move back to Eng­land.

“Alan Stubbs is one of our three favourites for the job but we will do things the right way,” said Rother­ham chair­man Tony Ste­wart.

“We must first ask Hibs for per­mis­sion be­fore we speak to Alan di­rectly.”

Ste­wart added that, af­ter Neil Warnock quit fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful bid to keep them in the Cham­pi­onship, his club are now look­ing for some long-term sta­bil­ity. “Since be­ing pro­moted to the Cham­pi­onship we have twice nar­rowly avoided rel­e­ga­tion but we have learned very lit­tle from the ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said. “We want a man­ager who can help the club grow.”

Rother­ham fin­ished fourth bot­tom of English foot­ball’s sec­ond tier and so are hardly one of the game’s more glam­orous names. How­ever, they will al­most cer­tainly be able to pay Stubbs a higher wage than he cur­rently earns.

Hiber­nian would seek com­pen­sa­tion if Rother­ham get their man but it would be a huge blow if they lose the man­ager who made his­tory by de­feat­ing Rangers in last Satur­day’s Scot­tish Cup fi­nal at Ham­p­den.

Key men like An­thony Stokes and Liam Hen­der­son are set to re­turn to Celtic fol­low­ing the ex­piry of their loan deals, while in­flu­en­tial cen­tre-back Paul Han­lon is out of con­tract and at­tract­ing at­ten­tion from other clubs. Prized as­sets John McGinn and Ja­son Cum­mings are also likely to be the sub­ject of in­ter­est.

Demp­ster will fight to keep Stubbs, who has a year left on his con­tract, al­though it re­mains to be seen if he has the ap­petite for a third sea­son in the Scot­tish Cham­pi­onship.

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