The situation that made chairman Tony Stewart decide Rotherham United needed a director of football

MATT Taylor's parting gift to Rotherham United was to unwittingly convince chairman Tony Stewart that the time had come for a Rotherham United shake-up behind the scenes.

The manager, who lost his job in November as Championship relegation began to tighten its grip on the Millers, had involved himself - just like his predecessor, Paul Warne, had - in far more than team matters.

His departure led to the appointment of Leam Richardson as head coach as the first part of the club's restructuring of its footballing operation and the process was completed yesterday by the announcement that head of recruitment Rob Scott was also taking on the role of director of football.

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“I learned from Matt,” said Stewart. “He wanted lots of things changing and I could see it was taking up a lot of his time.

Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart. Picture: Kerrie BeddowsRotherham United chairman Tony Stewart. Picture: Kerrie Beddows
Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart. Picture: Kerrie Beddows

“I felt that that should be managed by someone else. A head coach's role is to focus on the well-being of the players.”

Scott has been recruitment chief for nearly five years and has become an increasingly influential figure at AESSEAL New York Stadium, working closely with Stewart to assist in the appointment of the last two men to fill the hot-seat.

Off-field issues like the facilities at Roundwood and staff liaison between departments will now be part of the 50-year-old former player's remit

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Stewart says he increased the playing budget by £2 million this season in a bid to ensure a second successive survival campaign.

Rotherham's owner places a huge emphasis on the way the Millers identify talent and make signings and the bulk of Scott's responsibilities will remain in that area.

“Recruitment, for me, is very important,” Stewart said. “It's the main vehicle for Rotherham United to perform.

“I don't get in players to sell them, I get them in to make sure that on a matchday they're performing at a level and in a way Rotherham United like to see them play.

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“You can have the best head coach in the world but if recruitment isn't right all you're doing is making life difficult for him.

“The financial part of recruitment is a very important thing. What I want is to make sure we get best value for money.”

The revamp brings Rotherham in line with most clubs in the Championship where 18 out of 24 teams have a director of football or someone with an equivalent title.