Chelsea swoop on Brighton again to hire Head of Recruitment Jewell

Sam Jewell: Placed on gardening leave by Brighton pending Chelsea switch

Sam Jewell: Placed on gardening leave by Brighton pending Chelsea switch

SAM JEWELL has accepted a senior recruitment role at Chelsea and been placed on gardening leave by Brighton.

Jewell, who is the son of former Wigan manager Paul Jewell, is expected to start work with Chelsea in November. The 34-year-old has been with the Seagulls since May 2016, having started off as Recruitment Manager for the Under-21s and then been promoted to Emerging Talent Manager in March 2019.

In November 2022, he was appointed Interim Head of Recruitment, when Paul Winstanley moved to Chelsea, and then got the job on a permanent basis in February 2023.

At Stamford Bridge he will once again report into Winstanley, as well as to his fellow co-Sporting Director Laurence Stewart.

In a statement, Brighton said: “Sam Jewell has accepted a new position at Chelsea. Sam has now commenced a period of gardening leave. We thank him for his long service to our club.

“With immediate effect, Mike Cave, Assistant Technical Director, supported by George Holmes, Scouting and Intelligence Manager, will assume Sam’s responsibilities.”

Chelsea have hired several Brighton staff since the takeover by Clearlake Capital in May 2022. Graham Potter joined as Head Coach in September 2022 (along with five members of his Brighton backroom staff), although he was sacked less than seven months later.

Winstanley joined in November 2022, initially with the title Director of Global Talent and Transfers, although this was subsequently changed to co-Sporting Director. Players Marc Cucurella, Moises Caicedo and Robert Sanchez have also made the move from the south coast to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have made no secret of their admiration for Brighton. Speaking at a Sportico event in October 2022, Eghbali said: “Brighton, we think they are one of the best run teams in the Premier League. Their founder, owner (Tony Bloom), is a sports gaming, data background. He spends 10% of the payroll (as the top five or six), wins almost as much, and is a very stable mid-table, very profitable club.

"If you apply some of that IP into developing talent, but keeping your own talent. The model of six, seven, eight year contracts, we think can be a sustainable model."

Can you sub-contract a club’s approach though?

Last year, Brighton Sporting Director David Weir suggested that the secret of Brighton’s success was stability and alignment - starting right at the top with Bloom.

“It’s probably different from most clubs, just in terms of stability and the people - particularly the ownership and Board - having been in place for a while,” the Scot said.

“People (in football) often want success quickly and that’s understandable - people just want to win a lot of the time and don’t care how they get there.

“Actually having a long-term plan and vision - something they stick to and don’t react when maybe short-term things aren’t going so well - was really appealing for me, in terms of being at a club where there is the chance to build something.

“Tony (Bloom) the owner is a Brighton supporter and has a vision for what he wants the club to be. Paul (Barber) is a very experienced Chief Executive who knows his way around football and understands what Tony’s vision is. Paul, along with the Board, implement that on a day-to-day basis, in terms of off and on the field.”

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