STATEMENT RELEASED ON BEHALF OF LEE JOHNSON:
“I would like to thank the Gordon family for giving me the opportunity to manage this historic club, with a special mention to the late Ron Gordon, who was a great loss to us all.
“I have loved every minute of my time in Edinburgh and in the Scottish Premiership, which is an intense and challenging league but extremely fulfilling for a manager to be involved in. I have felt welcome all around the city.
“I would also like to thank the staff, who I worked closely with throughout my time at Hibs, who are passionate about the club and are always supportive of the players and backroom staff. I have met some friends for life! CEO Ben Kensell is a great leader and we enjoyed an excellent working relationship.
“Last season was a transitional season for Hibs, but I was so proud of the successes we enjoyed together as a group. Beating Hearts and Celtic at Easter Road, after a number of times of asking, were wonderful moments. Experiencing the fans’ rendition of ‘Sunshine on Leith’ after those big results was fantastic!
“Managing the turnover of players was important to ensuring the club challenged towards the top half of the league and qualified for European football. Therefore, to improve on 2021/22 league position, finish the season in 5th place and secure the opportunity to play in Europe was crucial.
“The whole squad really embraced our ethos and the hard work in training was undoubtedly showing on the pitch, especially the performances and form post SPFL split and across both fixtures against Luzern, which was possibly the best result in Europe in over 20 years’, setting up a lucrative tie against Aston Villa.
“I thank all members of the playing, coaching and medical staff for their efforts throughout my time at the club. I will follow every one of your careers moving forward. I have enjoyed giving debuts to our young academy products and helping to add value to the first team players’ on pitch performances.
“The first three games of the domestic season didn’t go as planned. It was very disappointing given the work the players, coaching staff and I had put in to prepare the squad for an intense start to the season.
“However, there have been such small margins that have cost us and the congested fixture list left our performances a bit flat at times. I believe it is only matter of time before this team moves up the league and starts competing for European places. I have a lot of belief in this squad.
“Finally, I would like to thank the supporters that really got behind me and the team. Never underestimate your ability to lift the team, especially at Easter Road.
“I wish everyone at Hibs the very best in the future and look forward to seeing the club drive forward both this season and in years to come.”