Dan Ashworth admits 'really difficult decision' to leave Brighton for Newcastle

Jude Summerfield
Ashworth is expected to join Newcastle
Ashworth is expected to join Newcastle / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Dan Ashworth has admitted he agonised over his decision to leave Brighton ahead of his expected move to Newcastle.

The technical director is currently on gardening leave and 90min revealed last week that he will join the Magpies, most likely at the end of the season. Newcastle also plan to bring in a new CEO as part of the restructuring of their hierarchy.

Ashworth has now revealed it was not an easy decision to leave the Seagulls, having joined the club in 2019.

He told the club website: “It was a really difficult decision. I thought about it for a long time and thought about it really seriously because I wasn’t looking for a job. I didn’t apply for the job and I have been really happy at Brighton. It’s a brilliant club, it’s really well run, there’s really good people to work with and Tony and Paul [Barber] run it in the right way.

“You talk sometimes about jobs having push or pull factors, there were no push factors. It was nothing like ‘if only I could change this’. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Brighton, living in the city and the area. The support I have had from staff and supporters, players and everyone has been excellent. It’s been an incredibly tough decision. When I have left jobs before, it’s felt like the right time, or there have been push factors, but certainly, that wasn’t the case here and I can only speak favourably about the club, the structure and the people here.

“Graham Potter is a top manager and a top person. I will miss working with him, and all those I was working closely with: John Morling, Adam Brett, Hope Powell, Paul Winstanley, all of the staff; the players, led by Lewis Dunk; the senior leadership and executive team, and particularly Paul and Tony, I haven’t got a bad word to say about anybody and I appreciate being given the opportunity to work at the club.

"I will miss everyone; I will miss living by the south coast, in the city and Brighton as a city and a club over the last three years.”

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe was asked on Friday about the possibility of working with a director of football and said it is something he would be comfortable with.

He said: "I’ve been used to working with a sporting director at Bournemouth, so I would encourage that. I would embrace that."

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