The story of three men that took Brentford from League One to Premier League contenders inside 14 months
Wednesday 18 February 2015 10:29, UK
After Brentford confirm manager Mark Warburton will be replaced at the end of the season, Sky Sports journalist Lyall Thomas, who has reported on Brentford for several years, introduces you to the men that made the club successful...
Mark Warburton, in his first managerial role, has guided Brentford to their highest league position in over half a century and established them as credible contenders to reach the top flight of English football for the first time in almost 70 years.
Despite this, owner Matthew Benham - a life-long Brentford supporter who bought the majority sharehold in 2012 - believes the philosophy of Warburton and his immediate staff cannot take the club any further.
Warburton has not been the figurehead at the top of a pile but more the nucleus of a close-knit group of people carefully selected not only for their talents and previous achievements but also for their personalities.
Here we take a look at the men that have helped take Brentford from mid-table in League One to Premier League contenders inside just 14 months, but are no longer wanted by the club.
Mark Warburton - Manager
The London-born former investment banker was regarded as one of the best academy coaches around long before he took over from Uwe Rosler in December 2013. Warburton is from the same school of thought as Brendan Rodgers, Sean Dyche, Malky Mackay and Aidy Boothroyd, all of whom he worked with in a four-year spell at Watford and remain his close friends.
Warburton was overlooked for the Brentford manager's job when Rosler was hired in 2011, becoming the club's sporting director instead, and it was in this role that he built the footballing infrastructure that proved so successful.
Not only did Warburton strive for one of the best medical departments in the country, but he fully embraced sports science and cutting-edge player analysis software, creating an environment from which his players have thrived on the pitch.
Warburton also signed a string of promising youngsters from Premier League clubs either on loan or permanently, all of whom have contributed to the club's success. Everton duo Jake Bidwell and Adam Forshaw, Harlee Dean from Southampton, Nico Yennaris and Jon Toral from Arsenal, Tottenham's Alex Pritchard and Chelsea's George Saville are to name the most prominent.
He has also honed the talents of Alan Judge when others could not and turned Andre Gray from a talented non-league goalscorer into one of the most dangerous forwards in the Championship.
Frank McParland – Sporting Director
McParland is another highly-regarded coach and scout previously employed by Rafael Benitez to head Liverpool's academy and is credited with having spotted and developed Raheem Sterling and Jordan Ibe, among others.
His long-standing connection and shared ideas with Warburton during their time in England's youth system meant he was the perfect fit to take his place as sporting director in 2013 and he picked up where Warburton left off in signing players that would help take Brentford to where they are.
McParland has been placed on gardening leave by the club.
David Weir – Assistant Manager
Former Scotland international Weir joined Brentford as Warburton's assistant after an unsuccessful spell as Sheffield United manager. He had learned much from a year-long stint as a coach under David Moyes at Everton and was even interviewed for the Everton job when Moyes left for Manchester United.
Weir is another who shares Warburton's progressive, modern ideas on coaching and management and has given balance to the coaching team.
But, like Warburton, he will continue with first-team duties only as far as May 2015.
Matthew Benham - Owner
There is no doubt that Benham deserves credit for his part in Brentford's success, having reportedly invested as much as £90m in order for the likes of Warburton and McParland to bring in players and create an environment conducive to success.
Benham has also successfully acquired the land and means to build a new stadium close to their current home at Griffin Park, which they hope will be ready by the 2016-17 season and drive the club forward into becoming an established member of either of the top two divisions.
Benham had given Warburton and co his full backing over the past few years but it appears he wants a change of direction.
However, due to the current group's close allegiances to each other - and the likelihood that whoever replaces Warburton will want his own team in place - this will require a major overhaul of the staff that have taken him and the club to their current position.