Sports

Man United appoint Murtough as Football Director; Fletcher as Technical Director

Manchester United have finally appointed a football director in John Murtough, with Darren Fletcher installed as the technical director.
Murtough was brought to United in November 2013 by then-manager David Moyes, having worked with Moyes at Everton, and became the club’s head of football development in 2016.
The Manchester Evening News understands Murtough introduced himself as United’s ‘director of football’ when he oversaw the recruitment of the women’s team in 2018.
Murtough will have overall leadership and responsibility for operations and strategy across the United’s men’s and women’s teams, as well as the academy.
Murtough, from Cheetham Hill, was involved in United’s overhaul of the academy and recruitment department.
Murtough met Alexis Sanchez at Manchester Airport prior to his signing in January 2018 and drove Alex Telles to United’s Carrington training complex in October. Murtough also chaperoned €10million teenage signing Hannibal Mejbri at United’s 2019 friendly with Kristiansund in Norway.
Murtough will work with United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a day-to-day basis regarding recruitment ‘to ensure that the first team has the best-in-class operational support it needs to succeed’.
Solskjaer will continue to have an influential role in the recruitment process and Matt Judge, the transfer negotiator who previously occupied the title of ‘head of corporate development’, is now the director of football negotiations. Judge has known the United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward since they met at the University of Bristol.
Fletcher rejoined United as a first-team coach in January and the MEN revealed in May 2019 the former United midfielder attended a high-profile meeting as part of the club’s proposed restructure.
The 37-year-old was viewed by United as a potential appointment in an ‘advisory’ role and his remit as technical director will be to offer ‘technical input and direction into all football and performance areas’. Fletcher has been overseeing United games with the analysts, rather than flanking Solskjaer in the dugout.
Senior United sources were confident of hiring a director of football in time for the start of the 2019-20 season when Solskjaer was appointed permanent manager in March 2019, yet the club has taken two years to settle on the internal promotion of Murtough.
The club initially intended to hire a ‘head of football’ as part of the restructure in the wake of Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December 2018.
In a statement, Woodward said: “These are hugely important appointments that reinforce the progress we have been making as a club in recent years in our relentless pursuit of success.
“We have already made great strides forward in the way we run our football operations, and the benefits are visible in the resurgent pipeline of academy talent reaching the first team and through our improved recruitment record.
“John has been integral to our progress in these areas and his deep understanding of development ensures the club’s traditions of bringing young players through from academy to first team will continue. This new position is a natural evolution that harnesses his leadership qualities and his years of experience in the game.
“Darren’s stellar achievements as a player and his own journey from academy to Premier League and Champions League winner means he naturally commands respect and understands this vital part of the club’s DNA.
“In this new role, the first in our history, he will deliver technical advice across all aspects of the football department as well as contributing to the communication and delivery of our football philosophy across all areas of the club.
“I am delighted that John and Darren have accepted these roles and I look forward to the contribution they will make, together with Ole and the rest of the staff, as we build toward future success.”
Murtough said: “This is such an exciting time for everyone at Manchester United with the first team, academy and women’s team all performing strongly, and plenty of development still to come.
“It’s a privilege to be part of that process, and an honour to lead Manchester United’s football department, working alongside Ole, Casey [Stoney] and so many other truly outstanding staff all dedicated to delivering success to this club.”
Fletcher said: “It is great to be back with the club and I am delighted to be taking on this new role. We are moving in the right direction and I am looking forward to continuing to work with Ole and his coaching team, and now with John as the Football Director, to help bring young players through and further develop the football side of the club.
“It’s fantastic to see that all the staff here are driving Manchester United forward towards a new era of success.”

 

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