‘He leaves a significant legacy’ - Brighton express Dan Ashworth ‘disappointment’ as NUFC move nears

It’s understood the announcement of Dan Ashworth at Newcastle United is close.

<p>England FA Director of Elite Development, Dan Ashworth looks on during a pitch inspection prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.  </p>

England FA Director of Elite Development, Dan Ashworth looks on during a pitch inspection prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

Newcastle United’s hunt for a director of football looks to be over, following Dan Ashworth’s resignation at Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Seagulls confirmed their technical director’s exit via a statement on Monday, and it’s understood Ashworth will take up a new role at United, following the end of his Brighton gardening leave.

The statement read: “Dan Ashworth has resigned from his position as technical director to take a similar role at another Premier League club.”

It continued: “In line with his contractual terms, Ashworth will now begin an extended period of gardening leave, after which he will be able to take up a new position elsewhere.

“He will continue to report to deputy chairman and chief executive Paul Barber for any duties required during his notice period but, as is standard procedure with such occurrences, he will not be expected to attend the club’s premises or matches after his handover is completed later this week.”

It’s expected an announcement on the former West Brom and Football Association chief is expected this week.

‘I will be sad to see Dan leave’

Brighton’s Barber has spoken of his disappointment at Ashworth’s exit from the Amex Stadium.

He said: “We are sorry to learn of Dan’s decision. He’s been an important part of the club’s senior 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’d developed a close day to day working relationship. Dan’s been an excellent colleague and has become a good friend as well. I wish Dan and his family well for the future.

“However, as is the case with all top-quality people in any industry, we are always conscious of the risk of losing key staff to a rival. With that in mind, we always put in place contingencies and succession plans that are designed to minimise the impact on our club.

“As such, our assistant technical director, David Weir, will now step up and assume the role of acting technical director. He is someone with an excellent knowledge of the role and of our club’s culture from working side-by-side with Dan.

“As previously, we will conduct a search process for the role of technical director, as it is only right to do so. We anticipate a lot of high-calibre applicants but we also fully expect and hope David will be a candidate in this process.”

‘He leaves a significant legacy’

Adding to those comments, chairman Tony Bloom added: “We are extremely disappointed that Dan will no longer be our technical director. He leaves a significant legacy in place and for that we are greatly appreciative.

“Dan’s done an outstanding job and helped build on the progress the club had already made across all of our technical areas. I wish Dan and his family well for the future.”