Newcastle: PIF facing 'big decision' over 'key position' at St James' Park

Newcastle United will have to put the restructuring of the club on hold if they decide to wait for Dan Ashworth to head to St James’ Park, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

The Magpies, who are now the richest club in world football following the £305million takeover led by the Saudi Arabia-based Public Investment Fund, are hoping to eventually appoint Ashworth as their new director of football.

Why have Newcastle failed to appoint Ashworth so far?

Having resigned as Brighton & Hove Albion’s technical director in February, due to looking to ‘take a similar role at another Premier League club’, Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave by the Seagulls.

It has emerged that Newcastle will have to wait until November if they are happy to hold fire on his appointment until his notice period has been served at the Amex Stadium.

However, if the Magpies want to secure Ashworth’s arrival at St James’ Park quickly, they will have to part with a £5million compensation fee.

Ashworth held initial discussions with the Tyneside giants’ hierarchy in the early days of 2022, while he was still at Brighton.

It was revealed just 24 hours after tendering his resignation that the 51-year-old had already entered advanced talks with Newcastle, but he has yet to be unveiled at St James’ Park.

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What has Keith Downie said about Ashworth?

Downie believes having to wait until the final stages of the year before Ashworth can get to work will alter Newcastle’s plans.

The Sky Sports reporter feels committing to giving Ashworth the job is a big call by the Magpies’ hierarchy, particularly with them having to be patient.

Downie told GIVEMESPORT: “You have to say in terms of the whole restructure and the whole change of everything, that sets everything back a little bit because it’s a key position to get Dan Ashworth in.

“If you’re going to wait eight, nine or 10 months from the agreement, eight, nine or 10 months is a lot of time in football.

“To sit there for that amount of time and wait for him is a big decision to make. But, to be fair to them, they seem to be quite decisive when it comes to these things.”

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Shay Given - Newcastle

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Why is Ashworth Newcastle’s number one target?

Ashworth previously enjoyed a five-year spell as the Football Association’s director of elite development.

He played an integral role in the progression of England’s international sides as the Three Lions won the Under-20 and Under-17 World Cups as well as the Under-19 European Championships during his time in the job.

Ashworth then went on to become Brighton’s first-ever technical director in 2018, where he was responsible for the Seagulls’ ongoing football development and oversaw player recruitment.

Prior to that, Ashworth had also worked behind the scenes at West Bromwich Albion, Cambridge United and Peterborough United, so it is clear he has plenty of experience.

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