Who is John Murtough? Profile of Manchester United’s first director of football


Manchester United have finally appointed their very first director of football, John Murtough taking the reins of Old Trafford

Murtough becomes the first official occupant of such a post at United after being promoted from his previous role as the club’s football development manager.

But who is the man responsible for overseeing operations and strategy in all football functions of the club?

MEN Sport takes a look at a man you may not know …

His history

Murtough joined United in November 2013, after working with David Moyes at Everton, and became the club’s football development manager in 2016.

Prior to that he was responsible for elite performances in the Premier League, having held leadership positions in the academy and player development at other clubs.

the Manchester Evening News understands that Murtough introduced himself as United’s “director of football” when he oversaw the recruitment of the women’s team in 2018.

The Liverpudlian were involved in United’s overhaul of the academy and scouting department and even chaired teenager Hannibal Mejbri in United’s 2019 friendly with Kristiansund in Norway.

What does his new role mean?

Murtough has been promoted to director of football and Darren Fletcher has been appointed technical director – two new roles that are expected to strengthen the club’s football operations.

The Director of Football will have overall direction and responsibility for operations and strategy across all functions of football and Murtough will work closely with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the rest of the football staff to create the structures, processes and culture. necessary to ensure lasting success on the ground.

He will work with Solskjaer on a daily basis to align recruiting and other strategies and to ensure that the first team has the best operational support they need to be successful.

Solskjaer will continue his role in the recruiting process, supported by extensive research and data analysis functions that will continue to report to Murtough. Matt Judge will also report to the Director of Football, with a new title of Director of Football Negotiations.

What did Murtough say about the role?

“It’s such an exciting time for everyone at Manchester United with the first team, academy and women’s team all performing and lots of development to come. It’s a privilege to be a part of this process and an honor to lead the Manchester United football department, alongside Ole, Casey [Stoney] and so many other truly exceptional staff, all dedicated to the success of this club. “

Murtough meets former manager Jose Mourinho in 2016

What did Woodward say about her?

“These are extremely important appointments that reinforce the progress we have made as a club in recent years in our relentless pursuit of success.

“We have already made great strides in the way we run our football operations, and the benefits are visible in the academy’s resurgent pipeline of talent reaching the first team and through our improved recruiting record. John has been an integral part of our progress in these areas and his deep understanding of development ensures that the club’s traditions of moving young players from the academy to the first team will continue. This new position is a natural evolution which draws on his leadership qualities and his years of experience in the game.

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


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