West Bromwich Albion have been given fresh hope of retaining the services of sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth.
Albion chairman Jeremy Peace has been bracing himself for an approach for Ashworth from the Football Association over the vacant technical director’s post at St George’s Park.
But Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA’s director of football development, has revealed the FA is now considering a re-think on its plans for the position, following Gareth Southgate’s decision to turn down the role.
Ashworth is admired by senior people within the FA, including manager Roy Hodgson, the former head coach at the Hawthorns, and he was thought to be the No. 1 candidate, following Southgate’s refusal.
Brooking admits the role may not be filled by one candidate, with the governing body considering a number of options, including splitting the responsibilities between several key men.
Asked whether the FA still planned to name a technical director, Sir Trevor said: “Probably not. There was an expectancy level that Gareth Southgate might be that person. We had an interview process and Gareth decided it might be too early for him.
“I partly do that role anyway but we were trying to look longer-term at possible successors. With everything that is involved with the EPPP (elite player performance plan), you start to think about several areas that might need to be two or three key areas.”
The FA is still expected to seek permission to talk to Ashworth, who currently earns around £200,000-a-year at the Hawthorns. The role offered to Southgate was believed to carry a salary of around £500,000-per-year and, if the role is diluted between several people, those kind of figures will not be on offer.
Peace has taken the precaution of placing contingency plans in place in case Ashworth decides he needs a new challenge, but has also intimated he would be willing to discuss a new contract with his sporting and technical director.