Manchester United announced the promotion of John Murtough to Football Director and Darren Fletcher to Technical Director as the club created 2 new roles that were required to strengthen its football operations.

John Murtough will have overall leadership and responsibility for operations and strategy across all football functions, reinforcing the strong Manchester United foundations that are already in place.

John has been working 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. This has included successful overhauls of the club’s Academy and recruitment department so will be something that he is already familiar with and can build on basis the work he has already been doing in his previous role.

As Football Director, Murtough will work day-to-day with Solskjaer to align on recruitment and other strategies. He will also be responsible for ensuring that the first team has the best-in-class operational support it needs to succeed.

Solskjaer Fletcher

Ole Gunnar-Solskjaer with Darren Fletcher (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Solskjaer will continue his role in the recruitment process, supported by extensive scouting and data analytics functions that will continue to report to John Murtough.

Matt Judge will also be reporting to the new Football Director, but with a new title of Director of Football Negotiations.

Fletcher, on the other hand, will work closely with Murtough to add technical input and direction into all football and performance areas.

His focus will be on creating a coordinated and long-term approach for player and squad development while helping maintain the integral link between the Manchester United Academy and first team, aligned with the club’s values and culture.

Ed Woodward, Manchester United’s Executive Vice-Chairman 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 [Murtough] 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.

“Darren [Fletcher]’s stellar achievements as a player and his own journey from Academy to Premier League and Champions League winner means he naturally commands respect and understands this vital part of the club’s DNA. In this new role, the first in our history, he will deliver technical advice across all aspects of the football department as well as contributing to the communication and delivery of our football philosophy across all areas of the club.

“I am delighted that John and Darren have accepted these roles and I look forward to the contribution they will make, together with Ole [Solskjaer] and the rest of the staff, as we build toward future success.”

John Murtough said, “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.”

Darren 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.”

Darren Fletcher was from the Manchester United academy himself and spent 12 years at his boyhood club, winning every major trophy with the side – the Premier League 5 times, the FA Cup, the League Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Club World Cup.

Manchester United fans will certainly hope this brings in silverware like Sir Alex Ferguson’s days and the signs are promising.