Manchester United name John Murtough as Football Director and Darren Fletcher as Technical Director

Adnan

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Gotta figure Rio's heard some things from Fletcher:


via here.

Sounds like Murtough will sort of diagram out player strengths/depth/contract lengths/spending in each position from the first team down through the academy and Darren will be providing on-pitch eyes and ears for the first-team part of that (I guess in addition to being involved in the player negotiations as speculated?)
My posts on the subject are completely in sync with what Rio said.
 

AneRu

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Basically another Woodward yes man. Instead of the the right thing which IMO would have been to bring in a real DOF like Ralf Rangnick with Woodward who would move over and work solely on the commercial side of things, and Ralf would work solo on the football side of things and someone who would (hopefully) gut the club of all the Woodward yes men on the footballing side.

Hopefully John Murtough & Darren Fletcher prove me wrong.
Do you understand how organizations work? Everyone below the CEO is the CEO's yes man unless if the boss expressly grants them some form of autonomy but all their major decisions will still need approval from him and that autonomy is earned as it was with Sir Alex but even he had to operate within parameters set by the ownership.

It staggers me to think that there are people who thought that appointing a DOF will in any way limit Woodward's power or that Ragnik or any of the DOFs operate with complete independence from their CEO. That's not practical at all because the CEO knows exactly what the club can or can not do in the market.

The only way for a DOF/manager to earn more autonomy wrt decision making is through sustained success of their methods, as things stand right now they just feed into the decision making process.
 

Adnan

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Do you understand how organizations work? Everyone below the CEO is the CEO's yes man unless if the boss expressly grants them some form of autonomy but all their major decisions will still need approval from him and that autonomy is earned as it was with Sir Alex but even he had to operate within parameters set by the ownership.

It staggers me to think that there are people who thought that appointing a DOF will in any way limit Woodward's power or that Ragnik or any of the DOFs operate with complete independence from their CEO. That's not practical at all because the CEO knows exactly what the club can or can not do in the market.

The only way for a DOF/manager to earn more autonomy wrt decision making is through sustained success of their methods, as things stand right now they just feed into the decision making process.
Good post.
 

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Don't trust Matt Judge for whatever reason. Would feel much safer if Suge Knight was our Negotiation guy. He'd make sure the likes of Pogba would be locked in a Deathrow Records type contract and wouldn't leave for peanuts.
 

hungrywing

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My posts on the subject are completely in sync with what Rio said.
Do you have any thoughts on how good you think John Murtough will be at the speculated non-Fletcher part of this setup?

Or please point me to the post if you've posted them earlier.
 

Adnan

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Do you have any thoughts on how good you think John Murtough will be at the speculated non-Fletcher part of this setup?

Or please point me to the post if you've posted them earlier.
First we have to understand the structural process and who the key players within the structure are, who happen to be working under Murtough. It's those people working under him who will collate the scout reports/data etc, which will eventually be presented to Murtough and Solskjaer.

Marcel Bout who has vast experience at the highest level in European football and also impressed legends of the game like Jupp Heynckes at Bayern, is our head of global scouting since October 2016. And it's Bout, who has integrated the 50 or so scouts into the set-up and assigns the network of scouts on their scouting missions around the globe. The scouts then report back to Bout, who collates all the information before passing it on-to the data analysis team, which is headed by Mick Court, who has been at the club since 2011, and only took up his current role in 2019. Court and Bout then wittle the long list down and make it into a short list, after applying data analysis and collating scout reports which is the job of Marcel Bout. With Mick Court and his 4 man team applying the science. Jim Lawlor then enters the fray and in conjunction with Bout and Court, they decide on the key targets which are then presented to the first team manager. But this structural setup was evolving since 2014 and Bout only came on board the recruitment side in almost 2017, and Mick Court only took up the role in the structural process in 2019. The transfer committee was then setup in 2018 (if I'm not mistaken) which gave Bout, Lawlor and Court the power of veto, which should be noted. And Woodward giving significant power to our recruitment team, when it came to first team matters, is what caused Mourinho to go on a sabotage mission, according to some fans after being vetoed on his preferred choice of targets. Targets he wanted after using information from his own independent scouts, according to the Daily telegraph and their journo Jason Burt.

So what happened was that a disconnect developed between the club's recruitment department and first team manager. The first team manager was given power to buy players for his philosophy, with the club's recruitment department being sidelined as far as first team recruitment goes. But even though they were sidelined, they still had full control of our academy and the difference qualitatively between our first team and academy, is very noticeable IMO.

And as far as John Murtough is concerned, it's very simple IMO. His job like Rio, described in the video you posted, is to make everyone pull in the same direction when it comes to recruitment and adopt a footballing mantra that prioritises playing a proactive brand of football IMO. The scouting network headed by Marcel Bout along with Jim Lawlor and Mick Court (who have been around since the time of Fergie) will provide the key input which will create the conditions, for us as a team to prosper IMO. Murtough apart from what I've already said, will do the leg work/travelling, to meet agents/Sporting directors etc. But being the Sporting director at a juggernaut like United, should see agents/clubs approaching Murtough to build up a working relationship. So building up a network of contacts won't be difficult IMO due to the club he's at, which is a magnet for attracting people from the footballing fraternity. He's also someone that has vast experience at developing young talent and working with in a footballing structure where he has been credited by his peers as being a innovator when it comes to the sports science aspect within clubs. Now this doesn't mean that mistakes won't be made when it comes to recruitment. Mistakes will be made and are made by various other clubs even those with highly reputable Sporting directors. But the main reason I wanted a Sporting director was due to the stability/continuity the role provides in the event the manager is sacked and also to streamline the recruitment process. We have the network of scouts now, and vast experience working under Murtough when it comes to recruitment. So the structural side is set, and all we needed was the conduit who would become the point of contact for the first team coach, the CEO, and the recruitment department. And also agents and other clubs.
 

hungrywing

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First we have to understand the structural process and who the key players within the structure are, who happen to be working under Murtough. It's those people working under him who will collate the scout reports/data etc, which will eventually be presented to Murtough and Solskjaer.

Marcel Bout who has vast experience at the highest level in European football and also impressed legends of the game like Jupp Heynckes at Bayern, is our head of global scouting since October 2016. And it's Bout, who has integrated the 50 or so scouts into the set-up and assigns the network of scouts on their scouting missions around the globe. The scouts then report back to Bout, who collates all the information before passing it on-to the data analysis team, which is headed by Mick Court, who has been at the club since 2011, and only took up his current role in 2019. Court and Bout then wittle the long list down and make it into a short list, after applying data analysis and collating scout reports which is the job of Marcel Bout. With Mick Court and his 4 man team applying the science. Jim Lawlor then enters the fray and in conjunction with Bout and Court, they decide on the key targets which are then presented to the first team manager. But this structural setup was evolving since 2014 and Bout only came on board the recruitment side in almost 2017, and Mick Court only took up the role in the structural process in 2019. The transfer committee was then setup in 2018 (if I'm not mistaken) which gave Bout, Lawlor and Court the power of veto, which should be noted. And Woodward giving significant power to our recruitment team, when it came to first team matters, is what caused Mourinho to go on a sabotage mission, according to some fans after being vetoed on his preferred choice of targets. Targets he wanted after using information from his own independent scouts, according to the Daily telegraph and their journo Jason Burt.

So what happened was that a disconnect developed between the club's recruitment department and first team manager. The first team manager was given power to buy players for his philosophy, with the club's recruitment department being sidelined as far as first team recruitment goes. But even though they were sidelined, they still had full control of our academy and the difference qualitatively between our first team and academy, is very noticeable IMO.

And as far as John Murtough is concerned, it's very simple IMO. His job like Rio, described in the video you posted, is to make everyone pull in the same direction when it comes to recruitment and adopt a footballing mantra that prioritises playing a proactive brand of football IMO. The scouting network headed by Marcel Bout along with Jim Lawlor and Mick Court (who have been around since the time of Fergie) will provide the key input which will create the conditions, for us as a team to prosper IMO. Murtough apart from what I've already said, will do the leg work/travelling, to meet agents/Sporting directors etc. But being the Sporting director at a juggernaut like United, should see agents/clubs approaching Murtough to build up a working relationship. So building up a network of contacts won't be difficult IMO due to the club he's at, which is a magnet for attracting people from the footballing fraternity. He's also someone that has vast experience at developing young talent and working with in a footballing structure where he has been credited by his peers as being a innovator when it comes to the sports science aspect within clubs. Now this doesn't mean that mistakes won't be made when it comes to recruitment. Mistakes will be made and are made by various other clubs even those with highly reputable Sporting directors. But the main reason I wanted a Sporting director was due to the stability/continuity the role provides in the event the manager is sacked and also to streamline the recruitment process. We have the network of scouts now, and vast experience working under Murtough when it comes to recruitment. So the structural side is set, and all we needed was the conduit who would become the point of contact for the first team coach, the CEO, and the recruitment department. And also agents and other clubs.
I was just wondering whether you'd personally heard/knew that John Murtough was known to be an excellent footballing GM.
 

Adnan

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I was just wondering whether you'd personally heard/knew that John Murtough was known to be an excellent footballing GM.
What would you personally expect of John Murtough in his role? What are the things you want him to implement going forward?

Answering the above would give me a better idea to answer some of the questions you've put forth, from my POV.
 

hungrywing

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What would you personally expect of John Murtough in his role? What are the things you want him to implement going forward?

Answering the above would give me a better idea to answer some of the questions you've put forth, from my POV.
All the things a competent GM does.

I'll rephrase: is John Murtough a well-known high-level 'footballing man' who's been handcuffed by Woodward up until now.
 

Adnan

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All the things a competent GM does.

I'll rephrase: is John Murtough a well-known high-level 'footballing man' who's been handcuffed by Woodward up until now.
He sure is a well known high-level football man. The Premier League don't employ you as the head of elite development, if you aren't.

He hasn't been handcuffed by Woodward, but rather he's been given the responsibility since 2014, to create a football structure that has seen vast improvements when it comes to the academy and scouting department, where we have gone from one full-time scout who was working with Derek Langley, to a additional 70 plus people who are now working in the recruitment department. He's also overseen the develoment from scratch of the football science department at the club. A department that we had been left years behind, in comparison to the likes of Liverpool, City and Leicester. He's also created the Women's team from scratch and the ladies are doing very well. He's been very successful in every role he's undertaken thus far.

People like Michael Edwards at Liverpool would never have been given a chance by our fans, as Sporting director. But he's got a EPL and Champions League win on his CV/resume.
 

Bwuk

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He sure is a well known high-level football man. The Premier League don't employ you as the head of elite development, if you aren't.

He hasn't been handcuffed by Woodward, but rather he's been given the responsibility since 2014, to create a football structure that has seen vast improvements when it comes to the academy and scouting department, where we have gone from one full-time scout who was working with Derek Langley, to a additional 70 plus people who are now working in the recruitment department. He's also overseen the develoment from scratch of the football science department at the club. A department that we had been left years behind, in comparison to the likes of Liverpool, City and Leicester. He's also created the Women's team from scratch and the ladies are doing very well. He's been very successful in every role he's undertaken thus far.

People like Michael Edwards at Liverpool would never have been given a chance by our fans, as Sporting director. But he's got a EPL and Champions League win on his CV/resume.
Great post. Not sure everyone (myself included) is aware of the work he's done behind the scenes.
 

MrBest

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Do you understand how organizations work? Everyone below the CEO is the CEO's yes man unless if the boss expressly grants them some form of autonomy but all their major decisions will still need approval from him and that autonomy is earned as it was with Sir Alex but even he had to operate within parameters set by the ownership.

It staggers me to think that there are people who thought that appointing a DOF will in any way limit Woodward's power or that Ragnik or any of the DOFs operate with complete independence from their CEO. That's not practical at all because the CEO knows exactly what the club can or can not do in the market.

The only way for a DOF/manager to earn more autonomy wrt decision making is through sustained success of their methods, as things stand right now they just feed into the decision making process.
I wouldn't argue with the lack of autonomy at Man United, but would question your wording when generalised. The CEO will mostly make the final decision but in general, they tend to display good leadership and have the ability to listen. Saying that, there are a few CEOs I have been exposed to that are yes men/women as they report into chairman and are targeted by them, this is especially the case in privately held corporations. That's why i slightly sympathise with Ed because the Glazers may be over ruling anything he says and he is clearly targeted on financial merit rather than on field performance. Ed is just doing his job in my view, i don't like it, but the Chairman will steer the direction at many organisations. It is hard to assume what really goes on, but i believe the Glazers have turned us toxic and into a business rather than a football club.
 

SAF is the GOAT

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He sure is a well known high-level football man. The Premier League don't employ you as the head of elite development, if you aren't.

He hasn't been handcuffed by Woodward, but rather he's been given the responsibility since 2014, to create a football structure that has seen vast improvements when it comes to the academy and scouting department, where we have gone from one full-time scout who was working with Derek Langley, to a additional 70 plus people who are now working in the recruitment department. He's also overseen the develoment from scratch of the football science department at the club. A department that we had been left years behind, in comparison to the likes of Liverpool, City and Leicester. He's also created the Women's team from scratch and the ladies are doing very well. He's been very successful in every role he's undertaken thus far.

People like Michael Edwards at Liverpool would never have been given a chance by our fans, as Sporting director. But he's got a EPL and Champions League win on his CV/resume.
Do you think he's capable of bringing the football side and the business side to the transfer window and make deals efficient and quick ? I know Judge is doing the actual negotiation but Murtough is supervising him.

I want us to be able to have a proper pre season with all our squad including the new players - something that we didn't have a few years ago.
 

AneRu

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I wouldn't argue with the lack of autonomy at Man United, but would question your wording when generalised. The CEO will mostly make the final decision but in general, they tend to display good leadership and have the ability to listen. Saying that, there are a few CEOs I have been exposed to that are yes men/women as they report into chairman and are targeted by them, this is especially the case in privately held corporations. That's why i slightly sympathise with Ed because the Glazers may be over ruling anything he says and he is clearly targeted on financial merit rather than on field performance. Ed is just doing his job in my view, i don't like it, but the Chairman will steer the direction at many organisations. It is hard to assume what really goes on, but i believe the Glazers have turned us toxic and into a business rather than a football club.
What I was trying to put across is that autonomy in every organization is qualified by the parameters set by the senior management, whilst the decision to buy or sell players maybe informed by the DoF/Manager's input there will always be limitations as to what an employee, even a senior one, can do with an organization's assets.
 

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I want us to be able to have a proper pre season with all our squad including the new players - something that we didn't have a few years ago.
Many people tend towards looking at late in the window transfer deals as a sign of incompetence but I've never agreed with that
 

laughtersassassin

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Many people tend towards looking at late in the window transfer deals as a sign of incompetence but I've never agreed with that
Well our last transfer window is proof of it
 

Bilbo

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Dou you feel signings like Ighalo from china on deadline day and a past it Cavani likewise are a sign of good planning?
Do you feel that the club are not planning for transfer windows for months beforehand? There is a reason that such a high % of transfer happen in the last week of every window
 

Adnan

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Do you think he's capable of bringing the football side and the business side to the transfer window and make deals efficient and quick ? I know Judge is doing the actual negotiation but Murtough is supervising him.

I want us to be able to have a proper pre season with all our squad including the new players - something that we didn't have a few years ago.
I think him being the point of contact for agents and other clubs should improve the incoming/outgoing process and bring much needed clarity for all involved.
 

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Do you feel that the club are not planning for transfer windows for months beforehand? There is a reason that such a high % of transfer happen in the last week of every window
planning and conviction are two different things. The board can plan all they want until money talks. i hazard a guess signing past it strikers in china wasnt part of any plan, same with Cavani
 

DomesticTadpole

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planning and conviction are two different things. The board can plan all they want until money talks. i hazard a guess signing past it strikers in china wasnt part of any plan, same with Cavani
Not sure what strikers were available that would have been guaranteed successes. Werner had already committed himself to Chelsea and he looks lost in the PL. We attempted to get Haaland at the start, but sensibly he decided his career would progress better elsewhere. Top strikers are a rare commodity.
 

Bilbo

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planning and conviction are two different things. The board can plan all they want until money talks. i hazard a guess signing past it strikers in china wasnt part of any plan, same with Cavani
That's the point though. We'll approach all of our targets very early to size up interest in joining us, but the selling club will ask for the moon and stars, and why wouldn't they? They have time to wait and see how the market develops and whether any other clubs will be interested. There's little value in selling early, so unless you have a monster budget and want to pay a premium for a quick signature you have no choice other than to devise a strategy.

Cavani definitely was part of the plan. Its known that we wanted him early on but his wage demands were unacceptable to us. Do you think that all of these last minute deals that get done are on the same terms that they could have been closed for a month earlier? Of course not. The days pass and clubs will make concessions so they have time to reinvest, and players will lower their own demands as the reality of spending another season at the club, or having no contract at all, become more likely.

Conversely from a buying clubs perspective, and Sancho is a great example of this, a club will play the long game on a player if they feel it will work out in their favour. Its a gamble. If it goes right you get better terms and you're a genius. If it goes wrong you end up having to sign Ighalo. I know this is all fairly elementary stuff and massively simplifies the process of signing a player, but with any set-period open market things are far more likely to be resolved towards the end of that period.
 

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Signing Sanchos and Rice is not what we expect from these guys. Unearth Maddisons or Anguissa or Bissouma.
 

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Not sure what strikers were available that would have been guaranteed successes. Werner had already committed himself to Chelsea and he looks lost in the PL. We attempted to get Haaland at the start, but sensibly he decided his career would progress better elsewhere. Top strikers are a rare commodity.
That’s a good point. Haaland aside, is there any club anywhere that signed a top striker in the last two transfer windows who has been banging in goals for them this season?
 

DomesticTadpole

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That’s a good point. Haaland aside, is there any club anywhere that signed a top striker in the last two transfer windows who has been banging in goals for them this season?
Anybody that has is likely someone they just took a punt on. Unless it is someone who has been banging the goals in for a top club and also in the CL, then any striker signing will be a risk, now it is if we are lucky and find a gem or it could be one hell of an expensive risk.
 

VP89

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That’s a good point. Haaland aside, is there any club anywhere that signed a top striker in the last two transfer windows who has been banging in goals for them this season?
You're looking at a small sample size, outside of Werner which other top strikers have really moved? I would argue Danny Ings is capable of banging them in for any club if he stays fit. I don't think it needs to be a world class player.
 

TrustInOle

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First we have to understand the structural process and who the key players within the structure are, who happen to be working under Murtough. It's those people working under him who will collate the scout reports/data etc, which will eventually be presented to Murtough and Solskjaer.

Marcel Bout who has vast experience at the highest level in European football and also impressed legends of the game like Jupp Heynckes at Bayern, is our head of global scouting since October 2016. And it's Bout, who has integrated the 50 or so scouts into the set-up and assigns the network of scouts on their scouting missions around the globe. The scouts then report back to Bout, who collates all the information before passing it on-to the data analysis team, which is headed by Mick Court, who has been at the club since 2011, and only took up his current role in 2019. Court and Bout then wittle the long list down and make it into a short list, after applying data analysis and collating scout reports which is the job of Marcel Bout. With Mick Court and his 4 man team applying the science. Jim Lawlor then enters the fray and in conjunction with Bout and Court, they decide on the key targets which are then presented to the first team manager. But this structural setup was evolving since 2014 and Bout only came on board the recruitment side in almost 2017, and Mick Court only took up the role in the structural process in 2019. The transfer committee was then setup in 2018 (if I'm not mistaken) which gave Bout, Lawlor and Court the power of veto, which should be noted. And Woodward giving significant power to our recruitment team, when it came to first team matters, is what caused Mourinho to go on a sabotage mission, according to some fans after being vetoed on his preferred choice of targets. Targets he wanted after using information from his own independent scouts, according to the Daily telegraph and their journo Jason Burt.

So what happened was that a disconnect developed between the club's recruitment department and first team manager. The first team manager was given power to buy players for his philosophy, with the club's recruitment department being sidelined as far as first team recruitment goes. But even though they were sidelined, they still had full control of our academy and the difference qualitatively between our first team and academy, is very noticeable IMO.

And as far as John Murtough is concerned, it's very simple IMO. His job like Rio, described in the video you posted, is to make everyone pull in the same direction when it comes to recruitment and adopt a footballing mantra that prioritises playing a proactive brand of football IMO. The scouting network headed by Marcel Bout along with Jim Lawlor and Mick Court (who have been around since the time of Fergie) will provide the key input which will create the conditions, for us as a team to prosper IMO. Murtough apart from what I've already said, will do the leg work/travelling, to meet agents/Sporting directors etc. But being the Sporting director at a juggernaut like United, should see agents/clubs approaching Murtough to build up a working relationship. So building up a network of contacts won't be difficult IMO due to the club he's at, which is a magnet for attracting people from the footballing fraternity. He's also someone that has vast experience at developing young talent and working with in a footballing structure where he has been credited by his peers as being a innovator when it comes to the sports science aspect within clubs. Now this doesn't mean that mistakes won't be made when it comes to recruitment. Mistakes will be made and are made by various other clubs even those with highly reputable Sporting directors. But the main reason I wanted a Sporting director was due to the stability/continuity the role provides in the event the manager is sacked and also to streamline the recruitment process. We have the network of scouts now, and vast experience working under Murtough when it comes to recruitment. So the structural side is set, and all we needed was the conduit who would become the point of contact for the first team coach, the CEO, and the recruitment department. And also agents and other clubs.
He sure is a well known high-level football man. The Premier League don't employ you as the head of elite development, if you aren't.

He hasn't been handcuffed by Woodward, but rather he's been given the responsibility since 2014, to create a football structure that has seen vast improvements when it comes to the academy and scouting department, where we have gone from one full-time scout who was working with Derek Langley, to a additional 70 plus people who are now working in the recruitment department. He's also overseen the develoment from scratch of the football science department at the club. A department that we had been left years behind, in comparison to the likes of Liverpool, City and Leicester. He's also created the Women's team from scratch and the ladies are doing very well. He's been very successful in every role he's undertaken thus far.

People like Michael Edwards at Liverpool would never have been given a chance by our fans, as Sporting director. But he's got a EPL and Champions League win on his CV/resume.
Fantastic read and cracking analysis. Fills me with encouragement that the club have been building towards this over the last couple of years as it is something that should have been implemented during Fergie's final years. Alas, the future looks bright.