It’s still unclear when Dan Ashworth will officially be appointed as Newcastle’s director of football. The 50-year-old resigned as Brighton’s technical director last month but is currently on extended leave.
It has been reported that Ashworth’s furlough period could extend into the summer, with Newcastle trying to reach a compensation scheme with the Seagulls to cut short that short.
In Athleticism, George Caulkin was asked to provide an update on Ashworth during the outlet’s recent mailbag session. Here is Caulkin’s response:
We understand that no issues are expected with Ashworth’s personal terms, but no agreement has yet been agreed between the clubs. I haven’t felt any tension since Newcastle ended last week and I think the same applies to Brighton.
Ashworth has a long notice period, Newcastle want to find value where possible; in all of this, one would expect them to find a compromise. It would make sense for him to be in place by summer, although Brighton may disagree!
Bringing Ashworth in before the start of the summer transfer window could be key to Newcastle’s summer business. Eddie Howe, along with Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi, led the bulk of winter transfer activity.
In fact, Caulkin revealed Howe’s involvement was more than he or the Newcastle board wanted or expected. In the end, it turned out to be a very solid window with five excellent signings, but Howe was often taken out of his coaching responsibilities in January.
Here is part of what Caulkin said:
Howe effectively operated as director of football in January, a use of his time that was ultimately effective but also exhausting.
It is understood that during their January training camp in Saudi Arabia he spent less time coaching than he would have liked and was not involved in all the team-building exercises as he was trying to settle the transfers.
Hopefully Ashworth will be in place for most of the summer activity. In a report by Mark Douglas with news, there are plans to appoint a CEO in the very near future. Staveley confirmed this during the Financial Times Live event earlier today.
The building blocks come together in Newcastle both on the pitch and behind the scenes. The gaming team seems to have hit a milestone with a stellar February in which Ryan Fraser and Eddie Howe are up for awards.
Ashworth has been identified as one of the key figures to take Newcastle forward. When he enters, it will be a huge hole filled in the internal structure of the club. Ashworth is a highly respected football man who will offer plenty of experience and expertise.
Mike Rigg, who is the founder of the Association of Sporting Directors, told inews the following about Ashworth, a man he knows well:
“He is one of the leaders in terms of promoting the role of director of football.
“He is an extremely competent strategic operator. He’s not driven by the emotions we know this game provokes – the transfer window, the results. Dan is able to think through decisions as part of a plan.
“What Newcastle do is launch a plan and they have a strategic architect. Not only is he a capable footballer – he understands the business of football, how to interact with agents, players, coaches – but his intelligence emotional is as good as anyone I’ve met.
“He has the enviable ability to be as comfortable in a tracksuit as he is in a suit. That’s what a really effective athletic director can do – sell the plan to the owners in the boardroom, but also go on the sidelines and talk to the coaches and sell the plan. Few people are able to do this.
Newcastle are on the cusp of big things, but the process has been meticulous and daunting for Staveley and Ghodoussi. The duo and Howe gave their all for this club and the future rewards could be substantial.
The winter window is proving to be something special with Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Matt Targett and Dan Burn all in attendance and performing. They also match the type of top players this club will continue to target.
During the Financial Times Live event, Staveley revealed that Newcastle had turned down some offers because the players may not have been the right fit.
A son #nufc transfer window: “We gave up a lot of deals that we didn’t think were good. What we want are players with heart and integrity who want to be part of the team and work hard.
—Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) March 3, 2022
Douglas also reports that Newcastle remain very confident winter targets. Jesse Lingard and Sven Botman will come on board this summer if we stay up. The future indeed looks very promising.