Steve Waggott believes Rovers have been able to recruit a ‘powerful blend’ in Jon Dahl Tomasson and Gregg Broughton who will oversee a ‘new era’ for the club.

Tomasson arrived as head coach while Broughton was appointed as director of football during a summer of change at Ewood Park.

Chief executive Waggott has overseen the change in structure following the departure of Tony Mowbray after five years in charge. The appointments have been met with widespread approval from fans, as Rovers look to take a different direction.

Rovers will host QPR on the opening day, after the fixtures for 2022/23 were released, in what will be Tomasson’s first game in the Ewood Park dugout.

Ahead of the new season, Waggott said: “I think the changes of personnel, the way it’s structured, it’s moving in a different direction. I think it’s a really powerful blend.

“There’s been a lot of thought about the composition of the squad being predominantly young, but we have to populate that with leadership and experience.

“Jon will have to select from the lists of who he wants to bring in.

“I think it’s all about player development and the coach will be fully focused on that and the others aspects of the club will be run with Gregg, myself and the board.

“It’s a new era.”

With the fixtures released, attentions have already turned to next season, with the club's CEO saying the summer has gone in ‘a blur’.

Rovers went into the summer looking for a new manager for the first time in five years following the departure of Mowbray.

A change of model saw the arrival of a new sporting director in Broughton, with Tomasson following as head coach a week later.

Reflecting on the managerial search, Waggott said: “The summer has been a blur.

“We spent six or seven weeks on the whole process of Tony’s replacement.

“We had over 80 applicants and interested parties. I probably spoke to about 10.

“We got to a final four but thought that Jon would be going elsewhere, so it’s a great acquisition, great for the club.

“Bringing in Gregg Broughton as director of football with his knowledge, I knew him when he was at Norwich and Luton and then went to Bodo/Glimt.

“I think we’ve got a really powerful two in, as well as Remy as his assistant and Ben Rosen as his performance director looking after all the sports science department, and then David Lowe, Ben Benson and Damien Johnson who have the experience of the Championship.

“I think it’s a really powerful blend.”

Mowbray had outlined his departure two weeks prior to the end of the season, but it wasn’t until four days after the end of the 2021/22 campaign that Rovers confirmed he would be leaving.

It was then a month before Rovers made the appointment of Tomasson, but Waggott says that worked to their planned timeline.

Tomasson brought in assistant Remy Reijnierse and Ben Rosen as a performance director, with first-team coach David Lowe, goalkeeping coach Ben Benson and first-team technical coach Damien Johnson all retaining their positions.

“The target was, with the players coming back for testing on June 13, or possibly just before that,” Waggott said of the process, with Tomasson appointed on June 14.

“Once you get into the detail having got approval from all parties that you want him and he wants to come, you go into a complete deep-dive of contractual points.

“You are working with a Dutch agent, you have work permit issues, you have GBE clearance, and you have to navigate through that.

“It’s very interesting to watch the dynamic, the cultural changes, where Jon is sitting in the office with all of the coaches, he wants to be right in among the team.

“We’ll be getting a round table in there for them.

“It’s a learning curve for David, Ben and Damien being used to one model, but it’s also a learning curve for Jon and Remy to come into that environment but the interaction has been really positive and vibrant.”

Rovers always planned to bring in a director of football, alongside a head coach, in a change to the club’s model.

Broughton was appointed late in the process, with Waggott and the owners’ advisor, Suhail Pasha, having led the process for the head coach search.

On the part Broughton played, Waggott explained: “Myself and Suhail had done a lot of the leg work and led the discussions.

“When Gregg was coming it made sense as director of football for him to be involved in the last part of the interview, the last four really.

“We presented those four to the owners, they were comfortable with the four who were different in many ways, and each one of them would have done a good job in a different way.

“Gregg having a real close day-to-day relationship with that head coach, it was really important that he was involved at that stage.

“We were unanimous in terms of how we want to take the club forward with the vision of the owners, being around player development both young and other members of the squad and engaging with them and getting the best out of them.”

Mowbray was Rovers’ second-longest serving post-War manager before his departure which came after 267 games.

His tenure meant he was the only manager Waggott had worked with following his appointment in December 2017.

The club opted not to comment on Mowbray's position prior to the end of the season, until confirming Mowbray’s departure in a club statement.

In the intervening period the manager spoke openly about how he felt things had played out, and about the structure of the club and the decision-making process.

“I always tell people that Tony had a great five years at the club,” Waggott said.

“He brought stability, steady progress, great footballing guy, great man as well and I think it’s unfortunate when you come to the end of a certain juncture of your life and career and you move on.

“He’s a very honest person, if you ask him a question he’ll tell you how it is from his perspective. He’s quite emotional.

“I’m fine with it, we’ll have an ongoing friendship moving forward and it’s football, things move on.

“The owners made the decision around going down a different direction with a head coach and director of football, it’s the way lots of clubs are going, and we have to look at the personal development of the players which is what Jon will be doing with his coaching staff on a day-to-day basis, Gregg will be, and I’ll be here to support, along with the board.

“Hopefully the collective is going to be really powerful.”


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