Rotherham United: Millers’ £60,000 show of faith in new head of recruitment

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart

Rotherham United are spending £60,000 on player software as they prepare for the arrival of their new head of recruitment.

The successful applicant will be in place in January during the transfer window once he’s worked his notice at his present club but has already made his presence felt with the Millers.

“The new guy has already been up on three or four visits and demonstrated the software,” chairman Tony Stewart revealed. “We’ve already invested more than £40,000 in it, with another £20,000 to come.”

Stewart, who has pledged that signings will be made by the Championship’s bottom club next month, says the software outlay is part of a behind-the-scenes revamp that the new head of recruitment will instigate.

“It’s all about in-depth information about a potential new player - how many games has he played, does he have problems with his health, what kind of character is he, how’s his home life etcetera?

“We were bowled over by the recruitment guy we’re getting in. The software allows you to not only say ‘this is a good player’ but to also go back three years into his history. It gives you a full, rounded view of this person so when you come to select a new signing there is less chance of it being a failure.”

The appointment of the new man has been confirmed but his identity has yet to be revealed.

Rotherham, who are at home to QPR on Saturday, have fitness coach Paul Warne and former assistant manager John Breckin in interim charge after the shock resignation of Kenny Jackett last week.

The Millers are 13 points adrift of safety at the foot of the division in their third season back in the second tier but Stewart isn’t giving up on an unlikely survival mission.

“It’s a bit like an old slipper, the Championship,” he said. “It feels nice and warm and, do you know what, I don’t want to lose that slipper. I don’t want to move out of the Championship. I think that this club can work well in the Championship.

“This is the guy, remember, who said eight years ago ‘I can see us in the Championship in five years’ and people laughed. In five years, we were in the Championship.

“I came into Rotherham United to make a difference. We’ll work damned hard to stay in the Championship, to get players to compete in the Championship.”

Stewart is determined that even if the club are relegated they will be in a position to bounce straight back the following year.

“I don’t think we were ready for the Championship,” he added. “People might look and say ‘well, you’re not ready now’, but you can’t be in this league for three years and not have learned something. I think we’ve learned a lot.

“If it (relegation) does happen - and I’m not a defeatist - by the end of the season, even if we haven’t got enough points, with the improvements we will be making, we will have a team capable of coming back and playing at that level. That’s the aim.”

Tony Stewart on January recruitment