The board of Scottish Premiership side Hibernian FC confirmed the appointment of Leeann Dempster as CEO. Dempster joins from Motherwell FC and begins her position with Hibernian on June 1. Rod Petrie will stand down as interim CEO on Dempster's appointment but will continue in his role as non-exec chairman (Hibernian). In Edinburgh, David Hardie wrote it is the first move "in a shake-up at the Easter Road club with further changes planned in the near future." Dempster "will be given a free hand to implement the changes she feels are necessary to drive the Edinburgh outfit forward having built up an impressive reputation as a football leader during her six years at Motherwell." Her arrival "will be only the first piece of the jigsaw, with the Easter Road board having been conscious for some time of the need for change." Greater supporter engagement allied to a cooperative effort between management, fans and members of the board to form views and opinions "will be central to shaping how Hibs go forward, with Dempster highly regarded for the work she's done in that regard at Fir Park." Dempster initially joined the Steelmen as general manager at the invitation of former Chair John Boyle, "having been a marketing manager for his Zoom Airlines." In a male-dominated environment, she has become "an influential figure within the SPFL and is also a member of the European Club Association’s marketing and communications board." Petrie has been acting as interim CEO since Scott Lindsay stepped down almost two years ago but will remain chairman on a non-exec basis "of what will become a seven-strong board which already has one female member in lawyer Amanda Jones" (EDINBURGH NEWS, 4/29). The BBC reported Dempster "is relishing her new role" and hopes to create "a vision that everyone can buy into." Dempster: "I believe that to succeed in a sustainable way in the long term we need to grow club resources, re-engage lapsed supporters and strengthen the club collectively" (BBC, 4/29).
Scottish Premiership side Heart of Midlothian administrators BDO "are set to finalise the sale and purchase agreement for the Tynecastle club after getting the green light from Lithuanian creditors," according to the SCOTSMAN. A 20-day "cooling-off" period for UBIG creditors to "raise objections to the release" of their 50% stake in Hearts has "passed without any incident." UBIG's stake and the 29.9% shareholding held by fellow Lithuanian firm Ukio Bankas can now "be combined and transferred to Ann Budge's Bidco 1874 holding company via lawyers working for BDO." Once the sale and purchase agreement is "signed off, Hearts can begin their exit from administration" (SCOTSMAN, 4/29). STV's Jamie Borthwick reported a sale and purchase agreement "must be concluded" between Budge and the Lithuanian parties involved, which will trigger the £2.5M ($4.2M) CVA payment to Ukio and the "nominal fee agreed to pay UBIG for their shares." Budge must "also sign a management agreement with BDO to take control of the club in the intervening period between taking ownership and the end of administration being rubber stamped" at the Court of Session -- a process which is "expected to take around six weeks" (STV, 4/29).