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Daniel MacKay deal to Hibernian is boost to Inverness Caledonian Thistle finances as it copes with impact of pandemic

By Will Clark

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Financial pressures caused by the pandemic led Inverness Caledonian Thistle to sell rising star Daniel MacKay to Hibernian.

Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. Inverness CT(1) v Dundee(1). 20.04.21. ICT’s Daniel Mackay scores the opening goal past Dundee 'keeper Adam Legzdins.
Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. Inverness CT(1) v Dundee(1). 20.04.21. ICT’s Daniel Mackay scores the opening goal past Dundee 'keeper Adam Legzdins.

The 20-year-old was set to join the Easter Road side yesterday for an undisclosed fee.

MacKay who came through the ICT youth system, excelled in the second half of the campaign to become one of Caley Thistle’s most important players.

Chief executive Scot Gardiner says it is hard to see MacKay leave the club, but during a season when fans were not allowed in for the majority of games, he insists they had to accept the offer from Hibernian for the forward.

“We have had a number of clubs following Daniel’s progress over the last couple of years,” said Gardiner.

“We actually turned down an offer for him last season from one top club as we believed both Daniel and the club would be better served by him playing and developing here at ICT.

“This was proved to be correct on both fronts.”

“His recent terrific form has brought a number of Scottish and English clubs back to the table.

“Ultimately, the risk of losing him in just over a year’s time, and the perseverance which Hibs showed in their pursuit of Dan, allied to the significant immediate and future package we agreed, meant that we could not reasonably turn their offer down, however much we wanted to keep Daniel.

“As disappointed as we are to lose Daniel, the continuing financial pressures caused by the pandemic meant that we took the only pragmatic decision we could, while negotiating the best possible package for the club.”

MacKay joined Inverness Caledonian Thistle aged eight, and had been with the club for 12 years.

During his time at the Caledonian Stadium, he made 57 appearances for the club, scoring 12 goals.

He also holds the record for being the club’s youngster goal scorer at 16 years 171 days with his goal against Peterhead on his debut in October 2017.

Hibernian sporting director Graeme Mathie says they are delighted to capture MacKay’s signature, saying he is the kind of player they are looking to attract to Leith.

“We are delighted to have agreed a fee with Inverness for Daniel,” said Mathie

“He fits the profile of the type of players we want to continue to bring to the club.

“In all the conversations we have had with Daniel, his family and his representatives, it was clear that they all see Hibernian as the right place to continue to develop his career.

“We want to be known as the best club in Scotland for developing talent.”

“It’s great credit to Jack Ross and the staff that young players can see a number of examples of players improving under their guidance.

“We have no doubt Daniel can be another who develops throughout his time here.”

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