Rovers’ behind the scenes recruitment work, and the systems in place, will continue despite the departure of Stuart Harvey.

Harvey had led Rovers’ revamped recruitment department since 2018 with manager Tony Mowbray having stressed the importance of putting a structure in place as to how the club sourced players.

That has been overseen by Harvey who has now left the club, with the Northern Irishman set to be appointed in a similar role at Sunderland.

Mowbray says that was an offer Harvey, who previously worked within the club’s Academy recruitment team following his arrival from Burnley in 2015, was one he ‘couldn’t refuse’ after being headhunted by the League One side following their recent takeover.

Rovers are heading into a pivotal summer, with several senior players coming to the end of their contracts and likely to move on, and the importance of spending money wisely following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mowbray has worked closely with Harvey throughout his tenure and has wished him well, but says the operations in place will continue.

“For Stuart it’s a positive for him, he had an offer he probably couldn’t refuse I’d suggest, he was headhunted, and he’s made the decision for his life and his career and I wish him well,” he said.

“For our football club recruitment still remains massively important, the processes that Stuart put in place are very much still there, he doesn’t take that with him, this club have invested a lot of money on different systems, data-driven systems that cost quite a lot of money that spill out the names of the footballers who spit out the names of the players we want to play.

“All of the structure he’s put in place is going to be there and the person who comes in will have all of that. They will need to be data-driven, need to know how to work all the systems, but that will continue and we thank Stuart for the amazing work he’s done and we wish him well in his time going forward.”

Rovers hired a director of football and operations in Paul Senior in January 2017, but he moved on in the wake of relegation to League One.

Mowbray, who had initially been hired as a head coach, saw his role changed to manager when signing a new contract in the summer of 2017 when he admitted that many of those signings, including Bradley Dack and Richie Smallwood, were made based upon players he had either come up against during his time in charge of Coventry City, or worked with previously.

He pushed for owners Venky’s to investment in the recruitment department, with the European market a key focus, as seen by the signing of Belgian goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski last summer.

Assistant manager Mark Venus has also been pivotal in transfer negotiations, along with Harvey and the manager.

Asked who would be involved in finding Harvey’s replacement, Mowbray said: “I would suggest that three, four, five people will have a big say in the interview process.

“Recruitment, in my opinion, as I’ve been stressing it has to be club driven, club philosophy driven, what players are you finding and where are you finding them from, what criteria do they have to have?

“Barnsley are doing that and are punching above their weight, the Red Bull franchises do it, it’s not an accident, they are data-driven football club who recruit players to fit the systems they work with.

“I believe it’s the way forward and that all clubs will be doing it in five to 10 years’ time, we’re just trying to stay ahead of the curve. We’ve started that process at this club and making sure we don’t get too many wrong.

“Any other business you’d do loads of interviews with them, sit them down, make sure their personalities fit the job of the job description, but that doesn’t work with footballers, you sign them based on what you see on the grass.

“You don’t know that until you get hold of them.”