Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s power at Old Trafford will remain “undiminished”, according to Sky Sports.
Matt Judge, who has the new title of director of football negotiations – albeit with unchanged responsibilities – will also report to football director Murtough.
It’s a shake-up that has been a long time coming at Old Trafford. The director of football role at the club has been speculated on for the last two years, but finally Ed Woodward has implemented a new structure which he will hoping means “his phone rings less”.
Sky’s James Cooper though says the changes will not have a negative effect on Solskjaer’s power.
“The process has taken a considerable amount of time but they have got a new structure in place. I think it’s more evolution than revolution, albeit this is Manchester United implementing change in the football club that hasn’t been seen in the history of Manchester United.
“Manchester United have looked at the sporting director role, which is traditionally an overarching role between the CEO – or in this case, the executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward – with the manager below. But that hasn’t happened this time – the authority and power of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is undiminished by these changes.
“It’s more a management team and Solskjaer certainly retains his veto when it comes to transfers. His power is completely unaffected and he’s working with people he knows very well. It’s a hybrid, nuanced model with people who understand how Manchester United works. But it’s still a significant change for this football club.
I think Ed Woodward will be hoping his phone rings less. The point of contact will now be John Murtough. He’s someone who stays away from the cameras but he’s been at the club for seven years since being brought in by David Moyes back in January 14. He’s rehashed the recruitment, he’s worked on the academy and he’s also been instrumental in sorting out the women’s team.
“Everyone knows Darren Fletcher’s pedigree but he’s made a really big impression since returning in January. He’ll be looking at the performance of the club, not just at first-team level but also the academy. He’ll feed into the first team and the academy but in the short term will continue coaching.
“Manchester United now have a structure in place that they think suits them and they’re really focused on winning back the Premier League. They think bringing these people into these roles will help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer do that.”
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Solskjaer welcomes appointments
Solskjaer welcomed the appointments and confirmed Fletcher will continue as one of his coaches.
“A few months back when we were making a final decision there were other things in 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.
“Darren will still combine with the coaching,” the United boss said. “Of course maybe a little bit less on the coaching side.
“I’m very happy that we’ve made this decision and the announcement. Of course I’ve known about it for a little while.
“I’ve known John since I came. He was here when I came and now it’s more of a formal role, the job title. He’s still been working behind the scenes and I’ve worked well with him. It’s a cultural fit.
“We know we’re a work in progress and what we’re doing we just want to improve on and better, so very happy with what we have.
“We’ve still got the continuity of the last few years but still got new ideas and fresh thinking with Fletch, who has been at the club before and come back now.”
Asked about future transfers, Solskjaer said: “Of course everyone in world football is affected by the pandemic. It’ll be an interesting window.
“The process of our recruitment is still going to be the same with new roles. Work we have been doing for years now anyway.
“The communication is very good and we are always looking to add quality to the squad.”