Mladen Sormaz has been appointed as Barnsley’s first ever sporting director.

The 36-year-old, who was raised in Yorkshire, joins from the role of director of football analytics at 777 Partners, a Miami-based company that owns Genoa, Standard Liege, Vasco de Gama, Red Star Paris and Hertha Berlin while currently attempting to take over Everton.

He had previously held a senior position in Leicester City’s recruitment team between 2019 and 2022 and worked as an analyst at Huddersfield Town before then.

He will lead recruitment at Oakwell and negotiate contracts while working ‘with the existing coaches to create and implement a game model and coaching methodology to be used across the club.’

He has a PhD in Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of York.

Sormaz told the club website: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Barnsley, as someone from not too far away, I've grown up around a lot of Barnsley fans and understand the scale of the club and the passion of support. I'm honoured to have the responsibility to be the club’s first sporting director.

“My interactions with the club during the recruitment process have been very positive. The staff and directors I've spoken to have left an impression on me, and I’ve been really impressed with how they operate.

“I'm excited to get started, meet everyone and will be fully focused helping support Neill and the first team in the promotion push for this last, vital part of the season.”

Chairman Neerav Parekh added: “We are really pleased to have appointed the first sporting director in the club’s history.

“This role is key for us as we look to have top professionals overseeing both the football and commercial aspects of the club, rather than one person trying to manage both. This is a much more modern approach which will improve our operation.

“Mladen has an outstanding CV for such a young person and also understands the region and the identity of the club. Mladen will start later this month and will be tasked with looking ahead to the summer window and beyond as we look to move Barnsley Football Club back to where we belong.”

Bobby Hassell, who was acting director of football, returns to his academy manager role.

A statement said: “The board of directors wish to thank Bobby for his hard work and leadership during the interim period he has overseen, once again demonstrating his dedication to Barnsley Football Club.”