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Page last updated at 19:52 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 20:52 UK

Paatelainen parts with Hibernian

Miixu Paatelainen
Paatelainen has vacated the manager's post at Easter Road

Hibernian manager Mixu Paatelainen has left the Easter Road club by mutual consent after 16 months in the post.

He becomes the third Scottish Premier League manager to leave his post this week after Celtic's Gordon Strachan and Aberdeen's Jimmy Calderwood.

BBC Scotland believes one of the reasons for Paatelainen's departure was the board's proposal to reduce the playing budget for next season.

Former Hibs defender John Hughes is among those being tipped to take over.

Now the manager at Scottish Cup finalists Falkirk, Hughes played for Hibs on 72 occasions from 1996-2000, having signed from Celtic.

Hibernian finished the season on a relative high. They finished sixth in the table, and in May beat city rivals Hearts 1-0 at Tynecastle before registering impressive draws with Rangers and Celtic at Easter Road.

Paatelainen's final game in charge was the 2-1 defeat at Pittodrie on 24 May.

The Finn came under pressure from sections of the Easter Road support throughout the season.

A 4-0 aggregate defeat by IF Elfsborg in the Intertoto Cup preceded defeats by First Division Morton and Hearts in the Co-operative Insurance Cup and Scottish Cup respectively, while inconsistency meant they finished six points off the pace to qualify for a European place.

A statement by Paatelainen on the club's official website says: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as manager.

"We have travelled a journey together and the club will always hold a special place in my heart.

"However, there comes a time when a change of direction is best for both parties.


"I thank the club and the players and coaching staff for their commitment and talent and I wish the supporters everything that they would wish themselves."

Also on the website is a statement by Hibs chairman Rod Petrie: "Mixu has been a whole-hearted and committed manager and we are all sorry to see him go.

"However, we respect his decision. Mixu is held in the highest regard by everyone connected with the club and we wish him well for the future."

A Finnish international, Paatelainen was a formidable striker at Hibs from 1998-2001 and 2002-2003, having left for a season with French club Strasbourg.

He also turned out for Dundee United, Aberdeen, Wolves, Bolton and St Johnstone.

Paatelainen began coaching at youth level during his second spell at Hibs and moved on to first-team duties with St Johnstone and St Mirren.

His first taste of management came with Cowdenbeath in August 2005 and he went on to win the Division Three title.

In October 2006 he resigned his post at Central Park to take over at TPS Turku and steered the Finnish side to a third place finish before moving again to Edinburgh.

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see also
Paatelainen is new Hibs manager
10 Jan 08 |  Hibernian
Park exits Hibernian for SFA job
25 May 09 |  Hibernian
Hibs braced for more player bids
21 May 09 |  Hibernian
Hibs boss cool on Jones exit talk
17 May 09 |  Hibernian

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