Manchester United have finally appointed their first-ever football director, with John Murtough taking the reins at Old Trafford
Murtough becomes the first official occupant of such a role at United
after being promoted from his previous position as the club's head of football development.
But who is the man tasked with overseeing operations and strategy across all football functions at the club?
MEN Sport takes a look at a man you might not know...
Murtough joined United in November 2013, having worked with David Moyes at Everton, and became the club's head of football development in 2016.
Prior to that that he was head of elite performance at the Premier League, following senior academy and player development roles at other clubs.
The Manchester Evening News
understands Murtough introduced himself as United's 'director of football' when he oversaw the recruitment of the women's team in 2018.
The Liverpudlian was involved in United's overhaul of the academy and recruitment department and even chaperoned teenager Hannibal Mejbri at United's 2019 friendly with Kristiansund in Norway.
What does his new role mean?
Murtough has been promoted to the role of football director with Darren Fletcher being made technical director - two new roles which are hoped will strengthen the club’s football operations.
The football director will have overall leadership and responsibility for operations and strategy across all football functions and Murtough will work closely with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the rest of the football staff to create the structures, processes and culture to deliver sustained success on the pitch.
He will work day-to-day with Solskjaer to align recruitment and other strategies and to ensure that the first team has the best-in-class operational support it needs to succeed.
Solskjaer will continue his role in the recruitment process, supported by extensive scouting and data analytics functions that will continue to report to Murtough. Matt Judge will also report to the football director, with a new title of Director of Football Negotiations.
What has Murtough said about the role?
“This is such an exciting time for everyone at Manchester United with the first team, academy and women’s team all performing strongly, and 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 [Stoney] and so many other truly outstanding staff all dedicated to delivering success to this club.”
“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 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.
“I am delighted that John and Darren have accepted these roles and I look forward to the contribution they will make, together with Ole and the rest of the staff, as we build toward future success.”