Angry Hibs hit out at U's

HIBERNIAN have reacted angrily to Colchester United's cheeky bid for their skipper Rob Jones.

Carl Marston

Angry Hibs unhappy with

Colchester bid for Jones

By Carl Marston


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HIBERNIAN have reacted angrily to Colchester United's cheeky bid for their skipper Rob Jones.

The Scottish Premier League outfit took the unusual step of putting a statement on their official club website yesterday, threatening to report the U's to the Football League and the Football Association.

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United revealed on Tuesday that they had lodged a �100,000 bid for highly-rated centre-half Jones, who is a giant of a man at 6ft 7ins, just 24 hours after having a similar bid for Wycombe defender Mike Williamson turned down.

The Essex club are certainly making no secret of their attempts to bolster their squad during the January transfer window, and specifically their defence.

But they are winning few friends with their published bids for high-profile players.

The latest target, 29-year-old Jones, has been a big hit at Hibs since his move from Grimsby Town in 2006. He has chalked up more than 100 appearances for the Edinburgh-based club, during which time he has also attracted interest from Ipswich and Leeds.

Stockton-born Jones led Hibs to their first silverware for 16 years when he scored the first goal in their 5-1 victory over Kilmarnock in the Scottish League Cup Final of 2007. He scored with one of his trademark headers from a corner.

He is therefore much-prized at Easter Road, which prompted this official statement to be issued by Hibs yesterday.

“Hibernian can confirm receipt of a fax sent from Steve Bradshaw, chief executive of Colchester United FC and addressed to chairman Rod Petrie under a heading “Confidential Fax Transmission.”

“The fax contained an offer of �100,000 for the immediate transfer of Hibernian club captain Rob Jones.

“The offer was rejected by return. The manager advised the player of the offer and the fact that it had been rejected.

“Given the “confidential” marking of the incoming fax, it was a surprise to learn that Colchester United had subsequently posted a picture of the Hibernian player on its website along with a story stating that a “six-figure” bid had been lodged for the player.

“The story fails to mention that the offer was immediately rejected.

“The story also appeared on the Colchester United website the day after another story about a “six figure” bid for the centre-half of another club (Williamson at Wycombe) was posted on the same website.

“Hibernian intends to report the actions of Colchester United to the Football League and the Football Association.”

Meanwhile, Hibs manager Mixu Paatelainen has no plans to sell Jones, who is currently trying to shrug off a hamstring injury in time to feature in the Edinburgh derby against Hearts in a Homecoming Scottish Cup fourth round tie this Sunday.

Paatelainen said: “Rob (Jones) is our captain, he's happy and is happy to stay.”

It will be interesting to see the next step taken by the U's. Will they return with an improved bid for Jones, or will they pursue other targets elsewhere?

Manager Paul Lambert has his sights set on a number of different players, and he has the financial backing of owner and chairman Robbie Cowling.

Colchester United withdrew the Jones story from their website yesterday.

The U's are not in action this weekend - their next League One clash, at MK Dons next Monday evening, will be screened live on Sky Sports TV.

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