Forest Green fury as Director of Football joins Portsmouth

Hughes takes on the new role of Sporting Director at Portsmouth

Hughes takes on the new role of Sporting Director at Portsmouth

RICH HUGHES has left Forest Green after four-and-a-half years to become Sporting Director at Portsmouth.

The 34-year-old joined the club as Head of Recruitment in May 2018 and was promoted to Director of Football a year later. During his time with the club they reached the League Two play-offs twice before securing the title last season.

Prior to joining Forest Green, Hughes had stints in scouting and recruitment at Macclesfield, Tamworth, Burnley, Wigan Athletic and Everton. Pompey said he would be responsible for “recruitment and football operations, which includes medicine, sports science, nutrition, analysis and grounds”.

Pompey Chief Executive Andrew Cullen added: “We’re delighted to have appointed Richard as the club’s Sporting Director. This role is crucial for our longer-term football strategy and provides an oversight for all our football operations, easing some of the day-to-day operational pressures on Danny and Nicky (Cowley, the manager and assistant).

“Richard really impressed us with the way he was able to progress a number of different areas at Forest Green, culminating in their promotion to League One last season.

“He has a history of identifying emerging talent who have gone on to enjoy success in the professional game. It was also important that he shares our vision and will be moving down to Portsmouth with his family, which underlines his commitment.

“We felt it was important to pause the process over the summer, but have met with a lot of people in recent weeks. Richard was someone that we always had a lot of admiration for and he possesses the qualities and credentials we were looking for."

However, Forest Green Chairman Dale Vince was less than impressed with the way in which Portsmouth secured the appointment.

“This is an opportunity Rich wanted to take and we never stand in the way of our people’s progression, staff or players,” Vince said. “We appreciate all that Rich has done in his time here and wish him well on this next step.

"However, this is the second time that Portsmouth have made an approach (for Hughes) and the second time they have done so in breach of EFL regulations. We expected better.

“The rules are clear - clubs must not approach staff or players of other clubs before having written consent. Portsmouth disregarded this rule again. They approached Rich before asking for permission let alone before getting it. This aspect of football needs to change.”

Forest Green said “the recruitment process for the club’s new Director of Football is now underway.”

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