Rod Petrie

Rod Petrie is the chairman and former chief executive of Scottish football club Hibernian.

By the summer of 2003, Hibs were in severe financial trouble. This was mainly due to overspending while Alex McLeish was manager and the withdrawal of the lucrative deal between Sky Sports and the Scottish Premier League. The club was £17M in debtcite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/h/hibernian/3109551.stm|title=Hibs reveal Farmer stake|publisher= BBC Sport|date= July 30 2003] and were technically insolvent according to a report by the major accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3133218.stm SPL posts record losses] BBC News, September 23 2003] . The club was being supported by loans and guarantees made by majority shareholder Sir Tom Farmer [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/h/hibernian/3020234.stm Kwik-Fit keeps Hibs afloat] BBC Sport, June 25 2003] .

Petrie, the managing director and the only significant minority shareholder in Hibs, explored options as to how the club could continue to trade. Two options were identified: one was for the club to stay at Easter Road while increasing revenue; the second was to sell the Easter Road site to clear the club's debt and to share a proposed new ground in Midlothian [ [http://www.hibs.net/NewsItems/July2003/news_July_10_2_GS.htm Hibs spokesman's honesty is appreciated] www.hibs.net, July 10 2003] with Edinburgh rivals Hearts, who also had significant financial problems.

Hibs opened discussions with Hearts about the possibility of moving to Straiton [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_prem/2993214.stm Capital groundshare plan] BBC Sport, June 16 2003] , but this was met with a sceptical reaction by the Hibs support [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_prem/2995452.stm Hibs fans share scepticism] BBC Sport, June 16 2003] . In response to this reaction, Hibs appointed former player Pat Stanton to act as an "honest broker" in the public consultation process that followed [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_prem/3016636.stm Stanton leads consultation] BBC Sport, June 24 2003] .

The result of the process was that Hibs decided to stay at Easter Road [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/h/heart_of_midlothian/3223775.stm Straiton still on for Hearts] BBC Sport, October 29 2003] [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_20031102/ai_n12586445 Straiton dead end unites the Hibs family] "Sunday Herald", November 2 2003] . The club launched a campaign called "Stand Up And Be Counted" to attract lapsed fans in an effort to increase revenues [ [http://www.hibs.co.uk/news/comments.php?id=68_0_1_0_C Time running out] Hibernian official site, February 4 2004] . Hibs also sold some excess land behind the east side of Easter Road to a housing developer (Westpoint Homes) to reduce the club's debt to a more manageable level [ [http://www.hibs.co.uk/news/comments.php?id=53_0_1_0_C Hibernian Comment on Land Sale] Hibernian official site, January 24 2004] .

Petrie was appointed Hibs chairman in December 2004 after the resignation of Ken Lewandowski [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/h/hibernian/4094791.stm Petrie takes over as Hibs chair] BBC Sport, December 14 2004] . This meant that Petrie was simultaneously chairman and chief executive, which is against the practice recommended by the Cadbury Report [ [http://www.spencerstuart.com/research/articles/912/ Achieving greater independence in the boardroom] www.spencerstuart.com, October 2005] .

Since the appointment of Tony Mowbray as Hibs manager in May 2004, Hibs have made a net profit in every seasoncite web |url= http://www.hibs.co.uk/news/more.php?id=A2352_0_1_0_M|title= A Winning Season|publisher= Hibernain official site] . Hibs have also received significant transfer income for Garry O'Connor (£1.6M) [ [http://www.hibernian-mad.co.uk/news/loadroll.asp?cid=ED11&id=271099 Garry O'Connor Completes move to Lokomotiv Moscow] www.hibernian-mad.co.uk, March 6 2006] , Kevin Thomson (£2M) [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/r/rangers/6315061.stm Rangers pay Hibs £2m for Thomson] BBC Sport, January 30 2007] , Scott Brown (£4.4M)cite news|title = Brown completes switch to Celtic| url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/celtic/6661737.stm| publisher = BBC Sport| date = 2007-05-16] , Ivan Sproule (£0.5M)cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/b/bristol_city/6769397.stm|publisher=BBC Sport|title=Bristol City sign Hibs' Sproule|date=June 28 2007] , Steven Whittaker (£2M)cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/h/hibernian/6921914.stm|publisher=BBC Sport|title=Whittaker in £2m Rangers switch|date=August 1 2007] and David Murphy (£1.5M) [cite web |url=http://www.blues.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/NewsDetail/0,,10412~1218184,00.html |title=Murphy completes Blues move |publisher=Birmingham City official site|date=January 17 2008] during this same period. Hibs also lost the services of Scottish internationalists Ian MurrayHibs subsequently re-signed Murray and Riordan.] , Derek Riordan and Gary Caldwell for little or no fee due to the failure of Hibs to agree new contracts with these players.

Petrie has come in for criticism, particularly after the resignation of John Collins [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/h/hibernian/7153893.stm Collins resigns as Hibs manager] BBC Sport, December 20 2007] , that he has not used enough of these revenues on increased spending on players. Petrie has argued that the club has increased the budget for player wages four times and invested in a new training ground in East Lothian [ [http://www.hibernianfc.co.uk/training/index2.php Hibernian official site] ] , while also reducing the net debt to under £3M [ [http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/11092007/1/petrie-defends-hibs-spending.html Petrie defends Hibs spending] Eurosport, September 11 2007] .

Petrie's relationship with the Scottish media has also been a point of controversy, as some journalists have accused Petrie of being uncooperative [ [http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/comment/columnists/sport-columnists/keith-jackson/2008/01/23/the-moustache-with-the-cash-86908-20295410/ The Moustache With The Cash] "Daily Record", January 23 2008] .

Petrie resigned from his position as chief executive in April 2008 and was replaced by Scott Lindsay [ [http://www.stv.tv/sport/exclusive/Hibernian_videos/Boardroom_changes_at_Hibernianx_0804041 Boardroom changes at Hibernian] STV, April 4 2008] , but has retained his position as chairman. Petrie stated that Lindsay would take over the "day-to-day running of the club", while Petrie would retain control of "executive duties", including the negotiation of player contracts and setting the player budget [ [http://sport.scotsman.com/football/Petrie-delegates-control-of-Hibs.3947787.jp Petrie delegates control of Hibs] "The Scotsman", April 3 2008] .

Notes


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