Manchester United – Football director John Murtough steps down after more than a decade


Manchester United has confirmed that football director John Murtough has stepped down from his post and will leave the club this week, as the INEOS-led restructure of sporting operations at Old Trafford continues.

It brings an end to over a decade of service for the club, and was not a surprising development with INEOS building a new football operations structure.

Dan Ashworth will assume the role once Man Utd agree compensation with Newcastle, or his period of gardening leaves ends, while Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox is on course to be named technical director.

Darren Fletcher, who is in that position at present, is expected to remain at Old Trafford with new responsibilities being drafted.

A likely option is for him to act as a link between the first team and academy.

The investment into United by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the appointments he is making to key roles produced an expectation that Murtough would depart or be offered a different position.

United hope Wilcox will start in the coming weeks, provided an agreement can be reached on compensation with Southampton, whereas more time could be required for Ashworth to commence duties.

John Murtough joined Man United in 2013 after stints working for the Premier League, Everton and Fulham.

His initial role focused majorly on the academy and scouting until he was promoted to head of football development in 2016 and became United’s first football director five years later.

This new position essentially placed him in overall charge of the men’s, women’s and academy operations and was also central to the arrival of Erik Ten Hag as manager in 2022.

A club statement release on Tuesday read: “John Murtough is to step down from his position as football director of Manchester United and leave the club after almost 11 years in a variety of roles at Carrington.”

Co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: “We want to thank John for his loyal service over many years, and for his support and integrity during this period of transition. He leaves with our best wishes for the future.”

Co-chair Joel Glazer added: “After 11 years of tireless work for the club, John has mutually agreed with us that now is the right time to step aside and allow the new football leadership structure to be put in place. He will always be welcome back at Manchester United as a friend of the club”.

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