Manchester United football director John Murtough steps down

John Murtough is stepping down as football director and leaving Manchester United.

Change is afoot at Old Trafford after Ineos took control of football operations earlier this year as part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s deal to become minority owner.

They aim to bring in Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth and Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox as part of a new-look football leadership team at United that Murtough will not be part of.

John Murtough brought in Erik ten Hag as United manager
John Murtough brought in Erik ten Hag as United manager (Man Utd handout/PA)

Joel Glazer, co-chairman of Manchester United, said: “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.”

United co-owner Ratcliffe echoed those sentiments as the club starts anew behind the scenes.

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

Murtough joined the club from the Premier League in 2013 and went onto become head of football development, before being promoted to football director in March 2021.

That role saw him “have overall leadership and responsibility for operations and strategy across all football functions”.

Manchester United are looking to hire Dan Ashworth
Manchester United are looking to hire Dan Ashworth (Nick Potts/PA)

The Red Devils have also yet to reach an agreement to bring in Wilcox from Southampton.

The Championship side were angered by the offer of compensation for their director of football – equivalent to a year’s salary – but there is a hope a deal will soon be agreed.

Wilcox, who has a good relationship with incoming United chief executive Omar Berrada from their time together at Manchester City, would join United as technical director.

Omar Berrada is joining United as CEO
Omar Berrada is joining United as CEO (Mike Egerton/PA)

Sir Dave Brailsford, the director of sport at Ineos, is overseeing matters at board level, with remaining members of the leadership team set to lead day-to-day operations following Murtough’s exit.

Deputy football director Andy O’Boyle, director of player negotiations Matt Hargreaves and director of football operations David Harrison are among those figures, as is academy director Nick Cox.

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