Earlier today, recently relegated League Two side Bristol Rovers announced the Director of Football role has been axed in a major shake-up behind the scenes at the Memorial Stadium.
The previous DOF Tommy Widdrington has been moved from this role and will no longer be in charge of the recruitment process, allowing manager Joey Barton to take control of the club’s transfer business this summer as they prepare for life in the fourth tier.
Widdrington, who was briefly in charge in February before Barton took over, will now be responsible for outgoing loans and ensuring President Wael Al Qadi’s strategy is implemented at multiple levels including the first team and academy.
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The director and manager were said to have had a frosty relationship at the latter end of the season, with the Bristol Rovers boss publicly expressing his desire to take full control over signings in April from Widdrington. This time around, the manager seems to have won this battle.
But with Barton now having more control and the former Director of Football’s role at the club diminished, the spotlight will now be on the 38-year-old to produce the results needed on the pitch next season to guide the Gas back to League One.
Here’s how some Bristol Rovers fans on Twitter have reacted to this major development at the club. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of positivity on the whole.
Widdrington had to pay the price for last season, but he's been given a slap on the wrist.
— Elliot Owens (@elliotowens95) June 10, 2021
This is huge! Barton calling the shots now which means no excuses for next season! Have complete faith and I like the direction he's taking the team though! Wise experienced heads up for the fight! #UTG https://t.co/1qFD5BACM1
— GasheadFM (@GasheadFM) June 10, 2021
The club listening to the fans 👏 Everyone involved should be happy with this re-structure, I like the sound of TW’s new role it will be good for the youngsters coming through. Well done @waelalqadi #UTG https://t.co/kxDMwyiaJO
— Thatchers End Gas (@thatchersend) June 10, 2021
I've been an advocate of TW being moved on but this is a bit gutless ..if u want rid then sack him don't slowly diminish his role in the hope he hacks it in , the way this club is run at times is very worrying https://t.co/sISh4MrlMM
— cookie (@cookie1883) June 10, 2021
Nice to see that Widdringtons finally facing some responsibility https://t.co/CzDZI7yBrh
— Will (@willtaylor_) June 10, 2021
— Ollie Glossop (@GlossopOllie) June 10, 2021
— Ledbury Dan (@LedburyGas) June 10, 2021
Alexa show me money for nothing:
"…and will be tasked with ensuring the strategic vision of the first-team is adhered to at both U23s level and within the Club’s Academy." https://t.co/QT6kErF1px
— Michael Willett (@1MichaelWillett) June 10, 2021