A new management structure is in place at Manchester United. A statement that was released at 12:00 GMT confirmed the two new roles, which will further strengthen the club’s football operations.
There have been years of talk and speculation regarding the absence of a director of football at Old Trafford, but Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has announced two new roles that “are hugely important appointments that reinforce the progress we have been making as a club in recent years in our relentless pursuit of success.”
Murtough has been at Manchester United for seven years, most recently occupying the role of head of football development. He will “have overall leadership and responsibility for operations and strategy across all football functions”.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of John Murtough as the club’s new Football Director, and Darren Fletcher as Technical Director.#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 10, 2021
Fletcher to coordinate the long-term squad development project
Fletcher returned to United in January as part of Solskjaer’s coaching set-up and it is understood that his work in that role impressed the powers that be both in terms of his attitude and aptitude.
The 37-year-old will focus on “a coordinated and long-term approach to player and squad development”, the club said in a statement.
The Scot commented: “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.”
Soljskaer happy not to lose Fletcher
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reacted to the club promoting John Murtough to football director and Darren Fletcher to technical director:
“A few months back when we were making a final decision there were other things in the pipeline for Fletcher.
“One thing I was sure of was we couldn’t lose Darren.
“He has got fresh ideas.
“He has a bright eye for football a really keen eye.
“Now a little bit less coaching and more influence on the other side.
“Go speak to players and sell Man United as the club he knows.”
Fletcher won five Premier League titles and a Champions League amongst various other honours as a player at Old Trafford.