NEWCASTLE: Newcastle United appear set to appoint Dan Ashworth as the club’s new director of football, after the Brighton executive resigned from his role at the Amex Stadium.
On Monday morning, the Seagulls confirmed that Ashworth had officially handed in his notice and while he worked the still-undetermined period had been put on gardening leave.
The statement also confirmed that former Football Association chief Ashworth, praised for his pioneering England DNA project while working with the governing body, would join a “rival” club. Arab News understands that club to be Newcastle United.
Brighton’s statement read: “Dan Ashworth has resigned as technical director to take up a similar role at another Premier League club. As per his contract terms, Ashworth will now begin an extended period of gardening leave, after which he can take up a new position elsewhere.
“He will continue to report to Vice Chairman and General Manager Paul Barber for any duties required during his notice period, but, as is standard procedure in such cases, he will not be required to travel to the premises or club matches once his transfer is completed later. this week.”
Newcastle’s search for a director of football and a chief executive, as revealed by Arab News, is expected to be completed within weeks, according to club sources.
Both positions could still be filled by the end of February.
Former Chelsea and Monaco football manager Michael Emenalo had been linked with the role of director of football, while names such as Peter Kenyon, formerly of the Blues and Manchester United, were left out of the bid for the job of CEO.
Speaking about Ashworth’s exit, Albion vice-chairman Paul Barber admitted he would be a loss, but they already had a succession plan in mind if “a rival” came to call on his very services. research.
“We are sorry to hear of Dan’s decision,” he said. “He has been an important part of the club’s management team since joining us from the FA, and has made a significant contribution to our club’s progress in the Premier League and Women’s Super League.
“On a personal level, I will be sad to see Dan leave as we had developed a close working relationship on a daily basis. Dan was a great colleague and also became a good friend. I wish Dan and his family good luck for the future.
“However, as with all top quality people in any industry, we are always aware of the risk of losing key personnel to a rival. With this in mind, we are always putting contingencies and succession plans in place designed to minimize the impact on our club.
“As such, our Deputy Technical Director, David Weir, will now take over and assume the role of Acting Technical Director. He is someone who has an excellent knowledge of the role and culture of our club having worked alongside Dan.
“As before, we will conduct a search process for the position of Technical Director, as it is right to do so. We anticipate many high caliber candidates, but we fully expect and hope that David will be a candidate in this process.
Brighton chairman Tony Bloom echoed the sentiment, while wishing Ashworth well for the future.
“We are extremely disappointed that Dan is no longer our Technical Director,” he said. “He leaves an important legacy in place and for that we greatly appreciate him. Dan has done an outstanding job and helped build on the progress the club has already made in all of our technical areas. I wish Dan and his family good luck for the future.
Meanwhile, head coach Eddie Howe reflected on the January transfer window and his five new signings ahead of Everton’s visit to St. James’ Park on Tuesday.
And, although there has been criticism over the club’s inability to sign another striker at the end of the winter swap deal, Howe said he had no regrets over the deals made last month.
“We finished the window stronger as a team, as a team. I think the beauty of what we’ve been able to do – signing five players, at first glance, seems like a lot – we’ve been able to drip players into the squad, and we haven’t had to do everything at the same time.
“You feel like you’ve strengthened the group without destabilizing the team, which can happen when you sign five players. The window was difficult but I have no complaints and no regrets. The club supported me as well as the team, tried to give us everything we needed to stay up.
“It wasn’t perfect, but I think we did our best given the circumstances.”