Newcastle United have announced that Dan Ashworth will finally take over as our sporting director after a compensation deal was agreed with Brighton.
An ongoing saga had ensued since February when the former Seagulls supremo resigned from his role as technical director.
Leaving his stint on the South Coast abruptly meant Ashworth had to serve a nine-month notice period if we were to snap him up for nothing. The cost to free him from his contract beforehand was widely reported to be £5million, but it is unclear how much we have now paid after The Times suggested a compromise had been agreed on last week.
The club’s official website and social media outlets confirmed his appointment on Monday evening, with a statement on NUFC.co.uk saying the following:
“Newcastle United are delighted to announce that Dan Ashworth will become the club’s sporting director after an agreement was reached with Brighton & Hove Albion to release him from his current contractual obligations with immediate effect.
The terms of this agreement will remain confidential between the clubs and are subject to Premier League approval.
Newcastle United will issue further information following the relevant approval process.”
Getting Ashworth in place is arguably our biggest signing since the £300million Saudi-backed takeover was completed last October.
Having worked at the FA as director of elite development – a role that saw him emerge as a key figurehead behind the successful ‘England DNA scheme’ – Ashworth joined Brighton in 2019 and has helped transform their men’s and women’s teams drastically.
The Seagulls are now considered a well-run Premier League club with a strong football philosophy under Graham Potter – despite spending peanuts compared to top-flight rivals.
Biting the bullet to pay the compensation and get Ashworth on board means we can act productively in the transfer market and the long-term vision for our club can commence.