Blackpool have announced the capture of Sheffield Wednesday’s Head of Recruitment David Downes.
Downes’ departure to Blackpool has been in the pipelines for a while now it seems. The former Aston Villa figure has been heading Wednesday’s recruitment for the past four years, playing an important role in the club’s eventual promotion from League One last season.
Reports earlier this month had revealed that Sheffield Wednesday’s summer transfer plans were moving forward despite the uncertainty over Downes’ future, with Yorkshire Live saying that recruitment sources had been told to report to Darren Moore and others within the Wednesday backroom.
And earlier today, Blackpool announced the capture of Downes, who becomes the Seasiders’ new Sporting Director. As per the club, he’ll be responsible ‘for all football development’ at the club, leading player recruitment whilst looking to ‘synchronise the academy and first-team’ as part of a long-term vision.
Downes and out…
Sheffield Wednesday’s recruitment in League One has been impressive for the most part, and so Downes deserves praise.
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Wednesday though look as like they’ve been preparing for his departure for a while now and they’ll no doubt have a succession plan in place, with a big summer needed ahead of the 2023/24 season.
Whether or not the club will look to quickly hire a direct replacement for Downes, or if they’ll manage without him for this summer with the transfer window opening in less than a week, remains to be seen.
But Downes leaves Wednesday in a strong position ahead of the summer – they’ll be an attractive club to play for after seeing so many names progress at the club in the last couple of years, but Moore and co could have their work cut out this summer if they don’t move fast.