There’s breaking news today concerning Tottenham Hotspur’s backroom staff in the wake of the now-closed January transfer window. According to Matt Law writing in the Telegraph (£), Tottenham Hotspur Technical Performance Director and head of scouting Steve Hitchen has RESIGNED from his position at the club. According to Law, he is a target for Everton and could become their new Director of Football at Goodison Park.
Hitchen served as a de facto director of football for the first few years of his tenure at Spurs, but saw his role reduced after Spurs appointed Fabio Paratici as their Managing Director of Football. The implication is that Hitchen was frustrated with his role at the club and resigned at the conclusion of the January window. Everton now apparently see Hitchen as one option to replace their outgoing Director of Football Marcel Brands.
Law’s angle on this particular story is shockingly negative, noting that the club backed out of Hitchen-negotiated transfer deals like Paulo Dybala, Bruno Fernandes, Jack Grealish, and James Ward-Prowse, usually for reasons of financial prudence. Law also notes that Hitchen’s departure serves as a continuation of what feels like a pattern of long-serving Tottenham staff departing for other positions. This is speculation, but it seems pretty likely that Hitchen himself was Matt Law’s source for this story, and may have been a primary source for Law for a while now, which would explain the “aggrieved former employee” angle of Law’s writing here.
The past two transfer windows have made it clear that Fabio Paratici now calls the shots in the transfer market, and it’s probably not surprising that Hitchen, who was effectively demoted when Paratici came in, might want to look for other opportunities. For what it’s worth, at least outwardly it appeared as though Hitchen and Paratici worked well together and were viewed as at least cordial to each other in public settings. It should be noted that Hitchen had been the subject of a lot of Spurs fans’ ire over the past few years and especially after the Amazon “All or Nothing” documentary over the way the club has handled player scouting and acquisition.
It’s not clear what this means for Spurs going forward. Law puts forth no names for consideration on who might replace Hitchen, if anyone. It seems like something that could be a good role for someone like Chris Powell to step into, should Spurs opt to hire internally, or there are very likely any number of good candidates to work with Paratici on player scouting issues.