Manchester United have appointed their first ever Director of Football, with the club confirming the appointment of appointment of John Murtough.
Ed Woodward has come under a lot of criticism for United's transfer strategy, since taking over from David Gill in 2013, and there has been many calls for a Director of Football at the club.
Up until now the Premier League side have resisted the need for one, or not been able to get the right person in place, but on Wednesday afternoon they confirmed Murtough, who had previously worked with the academy, will take the role.
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
In a statement on the club's website, 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 all 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."
The website explained Murtough's new role, saying, "John will have overall leadership and responsibility for operations and strategy across all football functions, reinforcing the strong foundations already in place.
"...As Football Director, John will work day-to-day with Ole to align recruitment and other strategies and to ensure that the first team has the best-in-class operational support it needs to succeed."
And it went on to say that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will still have a say in recruitment, adding, "Ole will continue his role in the recruitment process, supported by extensive scouting and data analytics functions that will continue to report to John. Matt Judge will also report to John, with a new title of Director of Football Negotiations."
Our Manchester United reporter James Cooper explains how the new #MUFC structure will work. pic.twitter.com/Io6HoQZuSD- Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 10, 2021
Along with the appointment of Murtagh, former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has also been given a new role, having joined the club as a coach earlier this season.
The five times Premier League winner has been made technical director 'focusing on a co-ordinated and long-term approach to player and squad development and helping maintain the integral link between the Academy and the first team.'
On his new role, 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."
The club are currently second place in the Premier League, behind only rivals Manchester City, after winning the Manchester derby on Sunday.
Featured Image Credit: Manchester United/PA
Topics: ed woodward, Football, Manchester United, Premier League