McClaren not in contention for Huddersfield role
Written by Simon Austin — April 11, 2017
HUDDERSFIELD will not consider former England boss Steve McClaren for their vacant Head of Football Operations role, TGG understands.
McClaren had been linked with the job following Stuart Webber’s exit last week. The 33-year-old ended weeks of speculation by joining Norwich City as their Sporting Director, having been put on gardening leave by the Terriers the week before.
McClaren has been out of work since being sacked by Derby County for the second time in less than two years last month.
Speculation has been rife that the former England boss could be in line to replace Webber after he was spotted in the stands during Huddersfield’s Championship win over Norwich last week.
However, the Terriers are looking for a specialist rather than someone with a coaching and managerial background.
Webber made his name as director of academy recruitment at Liverpool before moving on to QPR, Wolves and finally Huddersfield. He was a major success at the John Smith's, playing a key role in bringing former USA international David Wagner in as manager as well as overseeing a series of astute signings.
Together, Webber and Wagner transformed Huddersfield's fortunes, turning them from Championship strugglers to promotion contenders.
The 33-year-old is now setting about finding a replacement for boss Alex Neil at Carrow Road.
Chairman Mel Morris was scathing in his assessment of McClaren when announcing the former England manager's dismissal last month. He claimed “the heartbeat, commitment, focus and passion has been lacking something fundamental” under the boss.
Dan Parnell: All too often, big names are linked to the Sporting Director (or in this case, the Head of Football Operations) role. Clubs need a leader in talent acquisition and development.
No manager wants (or needs) someone with ambitions to be working front line with the first team lurking over his shoulder.
Huddersfield have a very exciting manager in David Wagner and are pushing for a place in the Premier League.
Any incoming Head of Football Operations would be foolish not to relish working with a manager with such a powerful network across football’s talent pool. Getting the right man in and helping Wagner continue to deliver success on the pitch will be key to reaching - and staying - in the Premier League.
Rest assured, whoever replaces Stuart Webber will not be a coach or manager.
(Dan Parnell leads research on the Master of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University)
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