Barnsley: Rowing exit as Watkins moves in at Oakwell

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Director and general manager Don Rowing is set to leave Barnsley in a management shake-up at the Championship club.

The Star has discovered Rowing, who has worked for the club since 2004, is set to step down before next season as the Reds take a new direction under boss David Flitcroft.

Last week former Manchester United director Maurice Watkins was announced as the club’s new chairman and non-executive director.

And it is Rowing who will make way, with Watkins expected to play a key role in signing players, while a new general manager is also expected to be brought in.

Rowing is expected to meet Reds owner Patrick Cryne today to discuss when he will leave the club and a compensation package for nine years of hard service.

Aged 70, Rowing has hinted at retirement before and privately is understood to have expressed a growing interest to spend more time with his three children and six grandchildren.

The Star understands Barry Taylor, the club’s only other director, will remain on the board and work closely with Watkins as the club look to cement their Championship status after successive seasons battling to avoid relegation.

Cryne is understood to have been keen to get Watkins, one of his good friends, involved in the club, especially with his own ill health meaning he never attended a match at Oakwell last season.

“He [Maurice] is a sound strategic thinker and very clear on how a football club should be run,” said Cryne. “He can see reasons for change which will make us a more effective business.

Watkins stressed: “Our task is to make progress in the league, strengthen our position and get even more fans behind the club.

Flitcroft said: “If we can’t learn from someone like Maurice, then we’re doing something wrong.”