Burnley may not replace technical director Mike Rigg

Burnley’s first technical director may be their last – for the time being.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 7:00 am
Mike Rigg

Mike Rigg, appointed in November 2018, recently departed the role, which was created to head up the process of talent identification and recruitment throughout the whole club, from Academy to first team.

New owners ALK Capital are assessing the situation, as chairman Alan Pace ponders the way forward on that front.

And, asked whether there will be another technical director to replace Rigg, Pace said: “I don’t know, because what does that role actually look like?

“Is it a recruitment director, a technical director – where does that role (fit)?

“Everyone keeps giving me suggestions as to where and how it fits with different people within our structure.

“How does that person fit in and what is that role?

“The way to think about what has happened is us looking at the organisational structure and trying to figure out what the best organisational structure is for us to achieve our strategy. That is why you see what we have got.”

Pace added: “I just don’t know what the role looks like.

“I am very interested in aspects in discussion with Sean (Dyche) as to what we should have there and how those things fit.

“I don’t have a preconceived point of view of, it has to be this way or this person has to report to this person and make these decisions.

“I think we are in a good position to be able to say, the most important part of this is us coming together as a collective team to make decisions.

“It is much more of that team environment and that collaboration than people probably realise.”

Communication was believed to be an issue, and Pace feels that has now improved: “It feels like that to me, and that may be the way we have structured and organised things, but that is what we like.

“That is natural rather than having gatekeeper conversations.

“It is much more like this, open, at the table, everybody there with a chance to speak.

“Yes, some people have stronger votes than others, but at least everybody being at the table is an important part for us.”

As regards identifying targets moving forward, Pace explained how it will work: "We have created a technical committee from the very first day we got in here, the scouting department, the coaching staff, as well as some of the Academy staff are all part of it.

"The scouting staff, through the network that was created and built, identify targets, as well as things that may pop on the radar to some of the coaching staff.

"It all comes together to one table to say 'what do we think', and there is a vetting process to go through.

"That technical committee is led by the scouting department and brings together all the vetted names and other ones get thrown into it that have been brought by coaching or playing personnel."

Boss Sean Dyche is a key player in that committee, as Pace added: "Yes. Absolutely. He is at that table along with the coaching staff.

"It would be insane to make that different."

However, unlike his predecessor Mike Garlick, Pace is not involved in transfer negotiations, leaving that to others: "No. I am not. I have not taken on that role, we have well more qualified people for doing that.

"I do get involved as far as understanding and knowing what they are and signing off on them, so I am the last road block to signings, to put it that way. I am very involved.

"The way that process would work is that we would come together and we would have the names, and prioritise those names and send the right people to go and have those conversations with the clubs, and then to carry on those conversations with the player afterwards.

"It is only when it gets to the final section, I will know about it all the way through, and it will come to me for 'can we make this offer', but generally we have decided that at that group level, by discussing it because it has to fit into our wage structure as a club, it can't disrupt that, and it has to be thinking about long term for those individuals to grow with us.

"It can be a little bit frustrating because it is not just 'go and pay somebody', it is 'does that disrupt the rest of the dressing room?' If it does, then it doesn't really make sense, so there is a balance there."

While Rigg has left, so has Academy manager Jon Pepper, chief executive Neil Hart, and both the long-standing commercial director and media manager.

Pace explained: "It was not the intention to come in and rock the boat.

"It would probably have been more helpful, looking back with hindsight, if we would have had a whole season and come in at this time last year and not in the middle of the season and the middle of a pandemic. Not being able to get all staff together for meetings, it was all Zoom.

"Some of it is natural attrition, and we have a way we want to do things and a way of executing on that, and the ability to do that fits or doesn't fit.

"And others are, as we move down the path of executing the strategy that we have, are folks going to be right fit for that or want to be part of that.

"I think we still have some great opportunities.

"I think we will continue to evolve. I am not worried because I think everyone comes together as a team and lifts everything together, versus it being dependent on a single individual in any particular role.

"I think you will see that and hopefully you can see that within the organisation. Instead of being dependent on one gatekeeper, we now have five or six people all getting round the table and agreeing by consensus."