‘Big loss’ - Nigel Pearson opens up on significant Bristol City exit after major decision

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Nigel Pearson has built up a positive relationship with the CEO since their time together

Nigel Pearson says that the impending departure of Bristol City CEO Richard Gould will be a big miss and has hailed him for the handling of his role at the football club.

Gould is to leave the Robins in January after accepting the same position as the England and Wales Cricket Board, a sport where he is more versed. He is responsible for the day-to-day running of the football club and makes key decisions on contract renewals and transfers. The CEO has also backed Pearson through long winless runs and inconsistent runs which have impacted the teams’ performances.

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The 52-year-old replaced Mark Ashton in the summer of 2021 and saw an overhaul of the playing squad with several players leaving. Gould’s task working alongside Pearson was to reduce the wage bill whilst remaining competitive in a Championship that has several teams with the luxuries of parachute payments and previous Premier League experience.

"It will be a really big loss for us," admitted Pearson. "The work he has done since being here. He has a very clever touch with how he works. I think it’s important that we recognise he is going to be here until the end of the transfer window. It will give you an indication of how we are all thinking.

"It’s important we have some continuity as to how we go forward. Richard’s job along with everyone else is to try and make this club have a sustainable operation which means making some tough decisions. Decisions in my position and his position aren’t absolutely in agreement with everything but what we both recognise is that we need to make decisions that are right for the football club.

"I’ve been pleased to have crossed paths with him and worked with him and will continue to work with him until the end of January. He takes up a fantastic opportunity for himself. We’re delighted for him on a personal level. He will be a big miss for us.

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“His replacement is going to be a very important appointment. Somebody of Richard’s calibre is going to be difficult to replace. It’s important that whoever comes in has the right skill set to continue the work that is being done.”

With City afforded time to find a successor, the day-to-day running of the club won’t change drastically. New contracts for players will still have to be discussed whilst he is in the role whilst the January transfer window is approaching.

The Robins did not pay a transfer fee for any of their four arrivals in the summer but pocketed transfer fees for Kasey Palmer and Tyreeq Bakinson, as the club tried to move astutely in the window. A change in personnel does not necessarily mean that the club will take the self-imposed shackles off when making key transfer decisions.

City are having to navigate through Financial Fair Play whilst also trying to remain competitive in a division where teams may be able to afford higher transfer fees.

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"It’s going to happen and he is going to leave but we’ve got work to do," Pearson added. "Most of that work will be in preparation for the next window. It isn’t to say that you will get excited about loads of deals being done.

"It’s not about that, it’s about if we do any deals they are done in a way which are beneficial to us as a club, whether that is in or out

"You’ve got to remember when he came in that was a summer of significant change. He’s well-versed in what business looks like. He understands his remit which is quite a difficult one which is I suppose to like myself make cutbacks but improve too. It’s not necessarily an easy thing to do but it’s achievable if you have a positive outlook on it and are solution driven.

"There are people out there who just moan about anything. He’s not one of those and I don’t think I am either. It’s having an understanding of what you’re trying to do and engaging with the workforce. He’s done that very well."

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