West Brom plan talks on filling Ashworth void

Steve Clarke is planning talks with chairman Jeremy Peace to discuss Albion’s new sporting director after admitting Dan Ashworth will leave a “big hole to fill”.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Everton - Tha Hawthorns

The Baggies head coach is keen to offer his views to chairman Peace on the hunt for Ashworth’s successor, after the 41-year-old was chosen by the FA as their new director of elite development.

Ashworth is currently set to leave next summer and Clarke has mixed feelings on the news.

He said: “I’m delighted for Dan. It’s a great honour for him to be approached by the FA and asked to do that job.

“But, from a club point of view and a selfish point of view, it will be a big hole for the club to fill.

“They have already started looking at candidates and we will work on that and try to do as good a job as we can and replace Dan as well as we can.

“I haven’t sat down yet with the chairman, so I will find some time to do that and discuss it with him.

“We have a busy spell of games coming up and there is no immediate rush for it, because the move won’t be immediate.

“But I would like to sit down with Dan and the chairman and discuss the way forward.

“The FA want him in position as soon as they can and Dan has to help the club make the transition from his era to a new era.

“We will work together to make sure it’s as smooth as possible.”

Clarke is the fourth Albion boss to work alongside Ashworth and he believes the 41-year-old’s personality has helped make him successful in the previously controversial sporting director’s role.

Clarke said: “It is down to honesty. He tells me everything he’s doing, he tells me all I need to know and he’s very open and honest.

“We have open discussions and that’s the best way to make it work.

“He has his area of expertise and the club employ a head coach, who has his area of expertise.

“The two should work side by side. In the short space of time I have worked with Dan, that has been the case.”

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Comments for: "West Brom plan talks on filling Ashworth void"

Bromham Baggie

I enjoyed reading this article. It seemed down to earth and a bit ordinary worldish, as opposed to so much of the football hype that I read. Good to be a Baggie.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Dan sure will be a hard act to follow, but the new man will be a good one.


ian pritchard

no one should expect anything other than a consistent approach to the way they run the club I expect Dan to be replaced by a competent professional,why change a successful formula

Herts Baggie

Too right it leaves a massive hole, Mr Peace think long and hard about possible replacements as the future of the club could be in their hands.

All the best to Dan though, as with Roy, the FA are hard to turn down.

Robin Brittain

What concerns with the Dan Ashworth situation is the timescale in which he will leave the club . Originally I thought Dan would remain in his current post until the end of the season but apparently the FA want him in is new post before then and seem to be using their influence to ensure that this happens. When Hodgson got the England managers job he also agreed to wait until the end of last season before taking up his new role but I think we all know that during his final few weeks at the Albion his time was divided between his club and country.

Hodgson of course was at the end of his contract and Albion's hands were tied but is different with Dan Ashworth as he is under contract and Jeremy Peace will require the correct amount of compensation. In reality if we can identify a suitable replacement for Ashworth quickly I believe that Ash

worth will be at the FA in a matter of weeks rather than months. The key factor in all of this is finding someone who can work with Steve Clarke and his involvement in identifying Ashworth's successor is vital as the last thing we need is to be looking for a new head coach , as we seem to have a very good one already.

I don't know if anyone read Harry Redknapp's article in the Mail on Sunday when he stated that it would have taken £10M for the FA to have appointed him after Capello resigned . If that is correct the FA must have considered Redknapp for Hodgson's job but either were not prepared to pay or couldn't pay the amount involved. At the unveiling of Hodgson , David Bernstein refused to discuss Redknapp saying that Roy was the only candidate for the job. It will be interesting to see if they pay the correct compensation for Ashworth.

If I were Dan Ashworth I would think very carefully about what I am doing and remember that it's not too late for a change of mind.

Cyril Randle

5.Robin B. That's as good a post as I have seen on here. Especially the last 2 lines.

What strikes me about Steve Clarke's comment is just ONE word. 'HONESTY'

A confident man can always be honest because he knows he has nothing to fear by being so. Hodgson and the FA would both know this about Dan Ashworth. There is a subtle difference between diplomacy and honesty. Roy was diplomatic about his reasons for not playing Rio Ferdinand but you can bet your bottom dollar he wished he had him available recently, even if he didn't pick him!

CantelloRocket 78

There's been talk of Dan leaving Albion for what feels like months,so the thought that the Baggies are unprepared for the process of finding a replacement is unimaginable.I'd expect JP and the board to have already discussed this issue at some length.

As for the timing of a new appointment-

well it surely depends on a given set of circumstances?

Let's say that no one of the 'required standard' becomes available in the foreseeable future,in which case keeping Dan at the club until next summer would make sense.On the other hand,if a major candidate IS ready to take on the role in the next few weeks,then delaying the 'switch' could mean we miss out on the best possible replacement for DA.

Dan's done an excellent job at Albion,and I'm sad to see he's leaving,but we have to remember the destiny of the club doesn't revolve around one man.

It could be argued that the Baggies 'modern day' fortunes began their upturn with Paul Thompson and Gary Megson arriving at The Hawthorns 12 years ago,with Thompson working on 3 projects-

The East Stand,an academy,and a new scouting system.

Dan joined us less than 5 years ago,and has fitted into a widespread network that will still be in place when he's gone.And who knows,many fans fear a new guy will be relatively poor-

he might turn out to be excellent!!


It's certainly a lot different these days, 15 years ago an upheaval like this would have torn the heart out of the Albion, now it's just business as usual.

My opinion of the FA is the same though, football in this country always has been a game for professionals run by amateurs.

CantelloRocket 78


I only have to hear 'the F.A.' mentioned,and there's a loud groan inside me.

Unfortunately,it's been said that Dan's ambition has always been to work in football at a national level,so we're powerless to change his mind.Maybe a few weeks into his new job will result in him questioning the wisdom of his decision.


Good shout on Paul Thompson Rocket, IMO he was the man who built the foundations from a mediocre championship team(which we were). The players we currently have to what we had back then are alost the Polar opposite as we had a tough midfield and went for 1-0 wins. However the plan worked and got us a winning mentality, then the style followed.

Paul Thompson though did put his money where his mouth was, and was desperate to see it work. The reason he left to me is admirable too. Some may not agree but he had his principles and stuck to them.

CantelloRocket 78


Paul Thompson was interviewed a few months ago,and he said he felt leaving Albion when he did was the best thing for all concerned.

Despite the bust up with GM,they're now back on friendly terms,and he's full of praise for his time at The Hawthorns,saying he's got some very happy memories of the club and it's fans.I never met him,but he comes across as a nice guy.

p.s.- I tried to reply to you on a previous thread,but some posts were removed or blocked.Anyway,we should all be in The Vine on Saturday,hopefully see you there.


Nice one mate, look forward to it although I don't look forward to the journey into Wolverhampton later with me colours on.

My train gets into Moore St for 12.45pm so will get there for 1.15pm for a much needed beer.

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