role, relationships and why Brighton can hold out until ‘the end of the year’ – The Athletic


There will be champagne and canapes for those who wish in the conference room at St James’ Park this weekend, along with smiles and handshakes. Brighton & Hove Albion have something and someone Newcastle United want, although the warm welcome will say more about the courteous and professional links between the two clubs rather than being a negotiating tactic on Dan Ashworth, who remains in contractual limbo.

Ashworth to become Newcastle sporting director; everyone knows, but no one can really say when. A month ago, the 50-year-old resigned as technical director of Brighton to “take on a similar role at another Premier League club”, as the official statement put it, and “would begin a long period of gardening leave. As it stands, “extended” is an important word.

Discussions have taken place between the two clubs to reach a settlement but, from Brighton’s perspective, it is not just a matter of naming a character and Newcastle paying the necessary compensation. Losing Ashworth, who joined Brighton in 2019, makes them weaker – at least in the short term – and makes a rival stronger. There is no incentive to fix the problem quickly unless there is a really compelling financial reason.

Even then, it’s understood Brighton’s board would question whether the money would be worth the immediate payoff for Newcastle’s new owners, who are looking to rebuild their club from the ground up and see Ashworth as a ‘hire’. key”. For their part, Newcastle are keen to establish that, despite their support from the rich Saudi public investment fund, they are not used to signing blank checks.

If it involves strain in relationships, then it shouldn’t be. Brighton have no animosity towards Ashworth or Newcastle.

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