Manchester United appoint John Murtough and Darren Fletcher to key roles in structural revamp

Murtough and Fletcher promoted in long-awaited restructuring of Old Trafford football operations

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Wednesday 10 March 2021 12:10
Od Trafford, Manchester United’s home ground
Od Trafford, Manchester United’s home ground

Manchester United have appointed John Murtough and Darren Fletcher as their first-ever football director and technical director respectively in a significant reorganisation of the Old Trafford club's football operations.

Murtough, previously United's head of football development, will be responsible for all football strategy and operations as football director - including recruitment - across the men's and women's teams as well as the academy.

Former United midfielder Fletcher recently returned to Old Trafford in a coaching capacity but will now work closely with Murtough as technical director and take a long-term view to player and squad development.

The appointments of Murtough and Fletcher will not affect Solskjaer's role in United's existing recruitment process.

Matt Judge, United's head of corporate development who acts as chief negotiator in transfer dealings, will continue his work but under a new title as director of football negotiations and will report to Murtough.

Manchester United technical director Darren Fletcher

United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has come under pressure in recent years to appoint a director of football following criticism of the club's recruitment.

Woodward described Murtough and Fletcher's appointments as "hugely important" and said that they "reinforce the progress we have been making as a club in recent years".

“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."

Murtough said that it is an "exciting time" for everyone at United and promised "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 and so many other truly outstanding staff all dedicated to delivering success to this club,” he added.

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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