Walters named permanent Sporting Director by Stoke City

Jon Walters: Initially appointed until the end of the season 

Jon Walters: Initially appointed until the end of the season 

Jon Walters has been appointed permanent Sporting Director at Stoke City after impressing in the role on an interim basis.

The former Stoke player returned as Interim Technical Director at the end of February, replacing Ricky Martin. Now the 40-year-old has got the job permanently after “galvanising the club and fans.”

Chairman John Coates said: “We went through a thorough recruitment process, interviewing a number of impressive individuals, and there was no doubt in my mind that Jon was the stand-out candidate.

“He has impressed everybody since taking charge on an interim basis, playing a huge part in galvanising the club and our fans, as well as impressively articulating his vision for the future.

“Jon knows what it takes for our football club to be successful and has the leadership qualities to bring people with the right skills and experiences together for the benefit of Stoke City.

“The focus of the whole club is currently on preserving our Championship status. Beyond that, Jon will be at the heart of building for what we all believe can be an exciting future.”

Walters, who made 271 appearances for the club from 2010 to 2017, added: “It’s hard to articulate the drive inside of me to help get this club back to where I believe it belongs.

“The first priority is to retain our Championship status this season. After that, it’s a case of building brick-by-brick towards a long-term ambition of being better than we’ve ever been before.

“It’s going to take time, and there will be ups-and-downs along the way, but the mission is to create and sustain a team that truly represents the Club, our fans and the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

“We will do that by instilling a culture of high standards in everything we do and being true to the local DNA of dedication, relentless hard work, having each other's backs and never giving in.

“Those values and ambitions must be aligned right across the Club, including the board, the players, training ground and stadium staff, and our amazing fans. We will recruit and develop people who live and breathe our behaviours and standards, and I will constantly hold myself and others around me to account in our relentless pursuit of the successful future our supporters so richly deserve.”

Martin was sacked at the end of February after just 15 months in post. He had previously been Academy Manager at West Ham for four years and knew Alex Neil, who was Stoke's manager at the time, from their time together at Norwich City, when Neil had been manager and Martin the Academy Manager and then Technical Director.

After retiring from playing in 2019, Walters worked as a coach at Stoke, in the Youth Development and Professional Development Phases, and then became Under-19s Lead for the Republic of Ireland. From December 2022 to May 2023 he was Sporting Director of Fleetwood Town and their sister club Waterford.


  • Birmingham City: Craig Gardner (Technical Director)
  • Blackburn Rovers: Gregg Broughton (Director of Football)
  • Bristol City: Brian Tinnion (Technical Director)
  • Cardiff City: NONE
  • Coventry City: Claire-Marie Roberts (Performance Director)
  • Huddersfield Town: Mark Cartwright (Sporting Director)
  • Hull City: NONE
  • Ipswich Town: Gary Probert (Director of Football Operations)
  • Leeds United: Gretar Steinsson (Technical Director)
  • Leicester City: Jon Rudkin (Director of Football)
  • Middlesbrough: Kieran Scott (Head of Football)
  • Millwall: Alex Aldridge (Director of Football Operations)
  • Norwich City: Ben Knapper (Sporting Director)
  • Plymouth Argyle: Neil Dewsnip (Director of Football and interim Head Coach)
  • Preston North End: NONE
  • Rotherham United: Rob Scott (Director of Football)
  • Sheffield Wednesday: NONE
  • Southampton: Jason Wilcox (Director of Football)
  • Stoke City: Jon Walters (Sporting Director)
  • Sunderland: Kristjaan Speakman (Sporting Director)
  • Swansea City: Paul Watson (Sporting Director)
  • Watford: Gianluca Nani (Sporting Director)
  • West Brom: NONE

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