Burnley may not replace Technical Director Rigg

Rigg departed the club this month after three years' service (photo credit: Josh Schneider-Weiler)

Rigg departed the club this month after three years' service (photo credit: Josh Schneider-Weiler)

BURNLEY may not replace Technical Director Mike Rigg, with chairman Alan Pace admitting he is not convinced about the role or its place in the club’s organisational structure.

Rigg left after three years earlier this month, having been placed on gardening leave by the Clarets. He was only the second person in the club's history to have had the role - and the first, Frank McParland, was Sporting Director for only five months in 2015.

When asked by Chris Boden of the Burnley Express whether Rigg would be replaced, Pace said: “I don’t know, because what does that role actually look like?

“Is it a Recruitment Director, a Technical Director – how does that person fit in and what is that role?

"Everyone keeps giving me suggestions as to where and how it fits with different people within our structure."

In Episode #20 of the TGG Podcast, Brighton Technical Director Dan Ashworth outlined what his job involved.

“There’s a misconception out there that the Technical Director is just about recruitment," said Ashworth, who also held the role at the Football Association.

"For pretty much all of us recruitment is a major part of the role, but it’s only one part. I sit in the middle of a wheel and my job is to bring together seven departments, connecting those spokes.

“The principle for a Technical Director, in my opinion, is to look after the medium to long-term interests of the football club. It’s not about short-term 'get a result against Liverpool tomorrow', it’s to try and make sure the club is set up in a way that those other departments supplement and help (the Head Coaches), but are also there for the longer-term benefits of the club.”

Pace said Burnley had operated with a ‘Technical Committee’ since ALK Capital, for whom he is Managing Partner, took over the club in December 2020.

“We have created a Technical Committee from the very first day we got in here,” he said, “the scouting department, the coaching staff, as well as some of the Academy staff are all part of it.

"The scouting staff, through the network that was created and built, identify targets, as well as things that may pop on the radar to some of the coaching staff. It all comes together to one table to say 'what do we think', and there is a vetting process to go through.

"That Technical Committee is led by the scouting department and brings together all the vetted names and other ones get thrown into it that have been brought by coaching or playing personnel."

Manager Sean Dyche is “at that table along with the coaching staff” and “it would be insane to make that different,” Pace said. The chairman added that he himself was not involved in transfer negotiations.

Rigg is not the only senior figure to have left the club in recent months. So too have Academy Manager Jon Pepper, Chief Executive Neil Hart, Commercial Director Anthony Fairclough and Media Manager Darren Bentley.

None of them has been replaced yet.

Pace said: "It was not the intention to come in and rock the boat. It would probably have been more helpful, looking back with hindsight, if we would have had a whole season and come in at this time last year and not in the middle of the season and the middle of a pandemic.

“Not being able to get all staff together for meetings, it was all Zoom. Some of it is natural attrition, and we have a way we want to do things and a way of executing on that, and the ability to do that fits or doesn't fit.

"And others are, as we move down the path of executing the strategy that we have, are folks going to be right fit for that or want to be part of that.”

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