Mike Rigg: Technical Director on gardening leave ahead of Burnley exit

Rigg joined Burnley in December 2018 (Photo credit: Josh Schneider-Weiler)

Rigg joined Burnley in December 2018 (Photo credit: Josh Schneider-Weiler)

BURNLEY Technical Director Mike Rigg is set to leave his role after almost three years as the Clarets continue to make major changes behind the scenes following the takeover by ALK Capital last December.

Although the club are yet to make an official announcement, TGG understands that Rigg is on gardening leave after being served notice. He has not been seen at the Barnfield Training Centre for several months.

There have been other significant departures since the end of last season. Academy Manager Jon Pepper left in June after leading Burnley from Category Three to One status during his five-year tenure, while the widely-respected media manager Darren Bentley is also to exit after 15 years working for his hometown club.

Rigg started with Burnley on December 1st 2018 and was the first person to have occupied the post for them, other than a five-month period in 2015 when Frank McParland was Sporting Director. At the time of his appointment, the Clarets said Rigg would “oversee a new, large investment programme in growing the talent identification and analysis teams at the club.”

He was appointed by former chairman Mike Garlick, but when ALK took over on December 31st 2020 they were eager to take the club in a new direction.

Rigg is highly experienced, having worked in football for three decades. He started his career in the community schemes at Wrexham and Chester before becoming Technical Director for the FA of Wales in 1995.

He was subsequently: Head of Academy at Sheffield Wednesday, Chief Scout for Blackburn, Head of Player Acquisition at Manchester City, Technical Director at QPR, Head of Talent Identification at the Football Association, Chief Footballing Officer at Fulham and Global Football Advisor for executive sports recruitment firm SRI in 2016.

At Burnley he helped to develop the club’s scouting and analysis capabilities, while aiding that transition to coveted Category One Academy status.

At the time of his appointment, manager Sean Dyche said: “I have mentioned over the past couple of years how important it is to grow all areas of the club, and recruitment structuring and how we want to go forward, is an important part of that.

“I think at the end of a good process for the club, involving myself and the chairman, amongst others, we have found someone who can help the club to grow. By bringing in Mike, I think it’s a great opportunity for him to stamp his side on the way that we work.

"Within the role it’s not just recruitment, but that’s a big part of it, and with Mike’s background, both here and abroad, in searching for the right players for Burnley Football Club, I think that experience will be needed and used wisely, and that’s what we’ll look to Mike to add to what we already do.”

Paul Jenkins has been acting as an advisor for ALK at Burnley and is expected to take either the Academy Manager or Technical Director role. The Uefa Pro Licence coach worked for Middlesbrough for more than 20 years (as their U21s, U23s and first-team coach) before linking up with Burnley.

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