Murtough eyes ‘top trophies’ for Man Utd amid their manager search

News Desk
Murtough on Man Utd manager search

Man Utd football director John Murtough has revealed that a “thorough process” is ongoing to pick out their new permanent manager this summer.

The Red Devils are enduring a challenging season this time around. They are currently battling for a top-four place and they are still in the Champions League.

Ralf Rangnick has been their interim boss since December as he replaced club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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Murtough has been heartened by the “improved results” as they look to secure Champions League qualification at a time when the hunt for the next permanent manager is ongoing.

“We know that consistency is key as we strive for a top-four finish this season,” Murtough said.

“I want to reiterate however that this is not the ultimate objective for Manchester United, and everyone at the club is focused on challenging for the top trophies.

“We are now conducting a thorough process for the appointment of a new permanent manager who will take charge this summer, with the objective to get us back to challenging for those domestic and European titles.”

Paris St Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax coach Erik ten Hag are among the favourites to permanently succeed Solskjaer at a club that Murtough believes are on the right track.

The football director said the women’s team are “enjoying a strong campaign” under Marc Skinner, with work having begun to recruit a Head of Women’s Football, while he flagged United’s recent appointment of a Director of Data Science.

Murtough told investors: “Overall, while there is potential for further improvement and progress, we do feel that we now have the right structures in place across our men’s, women’s and academy teams to support long-term success and we will continue working relentlessly and investing to achieve that.”

Richard Arnold echoed Murtough’s sentiments as the chief executive commented publicly for the first time since taking up the role on February 1, when executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward departed.

“Everyone associated with Manchester United should have belief in the opportunities that lie ahead of us, both on the pitch and in the way we engage and serve our fans,” he said.

“We have a clear vision and we are implementing a strategy to win with an empowered leadership team to drive that forward.

“We will foster a culture of excellence through a world-class football environment, while strengthening the role of fans at the heart of the club and harnessing the power of Manchester United to make a positive impact on people, the environment and society.

“All of this will be supported by a sustainable operating model that ensures the club is strong for the present and secure for the future.”

United’s second quarter results for fiscal 2022 showed the club paid £10million in “exceptional items”, which included compensation to former manager Solskjaer and certain members of the coaching staff. That figure also took into account a revaluation of the Football League pension scheme deficit.

The results show an operating profit of £5.4million for the quarter, with revenue up to £185.4m – a 7.3 per cent uptick on the same period last year.

United’s net debt has increased to £494.8m – an increase of 8.6 per cent – and player wages were up 19.6 per cent to £97.7m “over the prior year quarter due to investment in the first team playing squad”.