Hibernian's search for a new manager will start in earnest today after chairman Rod Petrie told shareholders at the club's AGM last night that he had received 40 applications for the post vacated by Colin Calderwood.
The Leith club have been in some turmoil since dispensing with the services of Calderwood on Sunday, following the home defeat to Dunfermline in the SPL which left them in ninth place, one point ahead of bottom side Inverness.
Petrie was expected to receive a rough ride at Easter Road last night but it was all very tepid as he confirmed that the task of finding a new boss will primarily be down to executive director Scott Lindsay and managing director Fife Hyland.
Billy Brown is caretaker in the meantime, while former Hearts boss Jim Jefferies and former Hibs midfielder Michael O'Neill, manager of Shamrock Rovers, have been linked with the post.
Before he was given a firm vote of confidence at the end of the meeting by the club's owner, Tom Farmer, who enthusiastically described him as the "finest chairman" he could have, Petrie said: "The recruitment of a new manager is underway.
"We hope that our players will respond to a fresh start.
"The club gave Colin Calderwood the chance to succeed but it came to the point where we had to act decisively.
"I think that it is right that we take our time and look afresh at the recruitment process. This will be led by Scott and by Fife.
"As before, we will speak to knowledgeable people within football to help us make the appointment.
"We will all utilise our wide network of contacts in the game to make sure we have a rounded perspective of the potential candidates. But at the end of the day, the next manager will be appointed by the board of directors."
Before the AGM some disgruntled supporters from newly-formed protest group 'Hibsforchange' gathered at the Famous Five Stand and chanted 'sack the board' while holding up a banner which read: 'Eight managers in 10 years can't all be wrong. Get Petrie out now!!'
Petrie apologised for the appointment of Calderwood but stressed that the former Scotland defender's downfall was down to him alone.
"I am sorry that the appointment of Colin Calderwood was not a success," he said.
"The manager has the authority and autonomy to make the football decisions at the club. There is no interference by the board.
"We backed the manager just as we backed previous managers and players who come to the club are wanted by the manager.
"No player leaves the club without the express agreement of the manager. If the manager does not want it to happen then it does not happen."