The Athletic journalist Chris Waugh has suggested it could be weeks if not months before Newcastle make a decision on who their new sporting director is going to be.
Waugh also claimed the Magpies would love to hire someone with the pedigree and experience of Ralph Rangnick and Luis Campos.
What’s the latest news involving Newcastle United?
A consortium including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund completed a takeover of Newcastle earlier this month and changes are already afoot at St. James’ Park.
After a 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham, the Magpies’ new owners swiftly dispensed of under-fire manager Steve Bruce, who officially left the club by mutual consent.
However, a new permanent manager coming in isn’t the only significant appointment Amanda Staveley and co. will need to make to turn the relegation-threatened club’s fortunes around.
The Athletic’s Waugh has told GIVEMESPORT that Newcastle also need to bring in a new chief executive with footballing experience, as well as a sporting director capable of shaping the Magpies’ overarching philosophy going forward.
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What has Chris Waugh said about Newcastle hiring a new sporting director?
Waugh has claimed Newcastle would love to bring in a top-level sporting director like Campos or Rangnick, however The Athletic journalist also warned that a decision on any such appointment could still be a little way off.
He told GIVEMESPORT: “They need both a CEO who’s worked in football and they need a sporting director who can make those decisions.
“So those names [Ralph Rangnick and Luis Campos], Newcastle would love to have someone of that ilk, or that experience of building a club and deciding on the sporting direction of it and the way that the team’s going to play and how the academy filters in.
“I think that it could be a few weeks, if not months before they really filter down and decide who they’re going to appoint in that position.”
Why is a sporting director so important?
The specific duties of sporting directors will vary from club to club, but ultimately it’s their job to provide a long-term vision and ensure various aspects of the club are geared towards it as much as possible.
That usually means helping establish pathways for academy players to progress to first team level, and of course having an important say in the type of players the club will target and subsequently who they actually bring in.
In modern football, the role has particular significance for a few key reasons. First and foremost, it takes some of the burden away from the manager and allows them to concentrate on working with the first-team.
Secondly, it also helps protect the club from the hire-and-fire nature of modern management. Theoretically at least, most sporting directors will outlast managers and spend a number of years at one club.
Their priority therefore remains the long-term, which guards against new managers coming in and making financially detrimental signings for short-term gain.
In Newcastle’s case, the role feels arguably as significant as their first managerial appointment. The Magpies lacked any clear identity throughout Mike Ashley’s time at the club and from an FFP perspective they could spend £190m in January alone.
The sporting director will have a massive say in ensuring they not only make good signings, but also secure the right additions that build towards the new owners’ long-term goals.