Walters keen to end Stoke's managerial graveyard.

Sporting director Jon Walters wants to end the Stoke “graveyard” as he looks to reshape the club.

Stoke are facing a seventh straight season in the Championship and have never finished above 14th since relegation from the Premier League in 2018.

The Potters are investing £10-12m for a new building for the first team with the women and Academy taking over a revamped version of the existing site.

It is the club’s biggest investment, which is due to start in September, in a single development since the bet365 Stadium was built in 1997.

Stoke finished 17th in the Championship last season, having replaced Alex Neil with Steven Schumacher in December – their fifth manager in just under five years.

Walters said: “It’s been a graveyard for players and managers, we’ve not done well in the last few years. Let’s be honest about it, we have underperformed in the last seven years. Where have we finished? It’s frustrating from the outside to watch but now I’m inside the building it’s my job to change that.

You have to do it properly.

“You can’t just throw £10m at a player. What if he gets injured or goes in a year? You have to build the foundations properly. If you put a cardboard house up it’ll fall down straight away so you have to put everything in place.

“The new building has been passed and hopefully it’ll start in September. I was here when we moved into Portakabins.”

Walters made his first major appointment this week with Lee Darnbrough joining from Hull as head of recruitment, following the exit of Jared Dublin last month.

“He was almost the sporting director in situ at Hull, with what he did with Liam (Rosenior) there,” said Walters. “He brings experience in the domestic and international market. He will have a lot more knowledge in that area and he will be able to push me. He is the right person, the right character to have in. He wants to grow himself. He is the perfect person.”

Defender Ben Gibson is expected to join the Potters after his release from Norwich while former team-mate Sam McCallum remains of interest to Stoke, with the defender available on a free transfer following his exit from the Canaries.

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