Ed Woodward’s comments amid Man Utd boardroom shake-up show what his priority is

It is all change at Manchester United after the club announced a boardroom shake-up behind the scenes at Old Trafford.

John Murtough has been appointed as the United’s first football director, while Darren Fletcher will serve as technical director.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will continue to have a big say in recruitment, but Murtough will oversee the majority of transfer deals, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward taking a backseat in proceedings.

But speaking upon the news of the two new roles, Woodward seemed to want to make it clear that his priority is for the club to continue their excellent record of developing youngsters in their academy and promoting them into the first-team rather than making big-money new signings.

Ed Woodward has overseen big changes at Manchester United

“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,” Woodward said.

“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.”

United have always been a club keen to develop from within, and the likes of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay are just three examples of those who have come through the academy to become important current first-team players.

Seventeen-year-old forward Shola Shoretire is another who looks to be in the process of making the step up, and there are also a number of other exciting young prospects in the youth teams.

John Murtough and Darren Fletcher have been appointed in new roles
John Murtough and Darren Fletcher have been appointed in new roles

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Woodward also added that Fletcher would pass on his valuable experience to all areas of the club, once again suggesting the academy is at the forefront of his mind.

He added: “In this new role, the first in our history, he (Fletcher) 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.”

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