Broughton steps down as Blackburn Director of Football after two years

Gregg Broughton: Arrived from Bodø/Glimt in June 2022

Gregg Broughton: Arrived from Bodø/Glimt in June 2022

Gregg Broughton has left his role as Blackburn Rovers Director of Football by mutual consent after two years.

Broughton joined the Championship side from Norwegian outfit Bodø/Glimt, where he was Academy Director, in June 2022. In his first season, Rovers missed out on the play-offs only on goal difference, but 2023/24 proved far more challenging.

Adam Wharton was sold to Crystal Palace for £22m in January, an attempt to bring in Duncan McGuire from Orlando City ending embarrassingly because of an administrative error, Head Coach Tomasson left in February and the side only avoided relegation on the final day.

The background to all this was ongoing financial uncertainty for owners the Venkys, who have faced problems getting money out of India. This in turn led to tensions between Broughton and Chief Executive Steve Waggott over the future strategy for the club.

In a statement, Broughton told TGG: “This has been the most fulfilling two years of my career, but it has also had its challenges. In the face of these challenges, I have always strived to do my best and communicate in the interest of Blackburn Rovers, its values, and its supporters.

“With our long-term focus on trying to build a team centred around homegrown talent, we encountered well-documented challenges over the last year. The decisions that have had to be made have been continual but despite this we managed to fulfil the short-term aim set out to us at the beginning of the season - to remain in the Championship.

“However, I know that staying in the Championship is not enough for a club of this size and history. Hopefully the financial platform that our player sales have generated over the past 12 months leaves a great platform to build the success that our supporters thoroughly deserve."

In an exclusive interview with TGG in March, Broughton had said he remained “absolutely” committed to Rovers.

Mina Cup

“This is a fantastic football club with a very proud history, proud way of doing things,” he said. “We have a clear identity of the way we want to develop players, the way we want to play football, and are focusing on the game against Ipswich on Good Friday.”

Waggott refused to comment when contacted by TGG but is understood to be looking for a replacement for Broughton. Club Secretary Ian Silvester was sacked by the club two months ago following the administrative error that had led to the McGuire transfer falling through.

GREGG BROUGHTON STATEMENT IN FULL

Gregg Broughton: “Leading a football department is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, especially when it belongs to the most successful town club in British football.

This has been the most fulfilling two years of my career, but it has also had its challenges. In the face of these challenges, I have always strived to do my best and communicate in the interest of Blackburn Rovers, its values, and its supporters.

With our long-term focus on trying to build a team centred around homegrown talent, we encountered well-documented challenges over the last year. The decisions that have had to be made have been continual but despite this we managed to fulfil the short-term aim set out to us at the beginning of the season – to remain in the Championship.

"However, I know that staying in the Championship is not enough for a club of this size and history. Hopefully the financial platform that our player sales have generated over the past 12 months leaves a great platform to build the success that our supporters thoroughly deserve.

Looking back on the highs, we achieved a huge amount in the last two years, and I am so proud of that. Of the four players that we signed with a significant transfer fee, two have won the club’s player of the year for each the past two seasons, both players who weren’t on the club’s transfer lists when we joined.

We were proactive in contract renewals in order to give the club such a strong financial platform to now build from. We created clear pathways for our best academy players to play in the Championship earlier than any other team. We introduced a style of play which led to the club’s highest league finish for ten years along with the furthest progress in Cup competitions for 15.

Finally, we set three records from the club’s proud 149-year history: it’s largest ever win, youngest ever player and the record player sale. It is the amazing team of players and staff that achieved all of that, they have been some of the best people I have ever had the privilege of working with, and they are well placed to take the club forward.

John (Eustace, manager) and his team of coaches, Craig (Faulkner, Head Groundsman) and the groundstaff, Dave (Lyon) and catering, Paul (Schofield, Kit Manager) and the kit-room, Adam (Collins, Head of Performance Analysis) and analysis, Andy (Procter, Head of Medical) and the medical staff, Karl (Hodges, Lead Sport Scientist) and the performance team, Sean (Kimberley, Head of Recruitment) and the recruitment and data department, Les (Fielding, Player Liaison) and Bev (Phillips, Admins Manager and Player Liaison) all work tirelessly for the club.

Last but not least, Stuart (Jones, Academy Director) and the huge team of staff at the Academy whose achievements often go unrecognised and unrewarded but whose hard work over the last 10 years has given so many of our Academy graduates the chance to play for our first team and then on to clubs in the Premier League.

For my part, I want to finish with a simple thank you to Blackburn Rovers supporters for giving the team such great support over the past two years. Wins against West Ham United, Leicester City (twice) and those narrowest of defeats against Sheffield United and Newcastle United will stay with us forever.

Thank-you and goodbye, Gregg.”

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