Man Utd confirm Ashworth as sporting director

Manchester United have confirmed Dan Ashworth is clear to start work as their new sporting director.

Ashworth, 53, has been on gardening leave since February after telling Newcastle United he wanted to join the revamped set-up under Ineos at Old Trafford.

The former Football Association and Brighton technical director had been set to take Newcastle to arbitration in an effort to resolve the impasse over the move.

But it is understood talks between the clubs led to an out-of-court settlement being agreed late last week that leaves Ashworth free to take up his new role.

In a joint statement, the clubs said an agreement had been reached for the “immediate release” of Ashworth from his Newcastle contract but that the details would remain confidential.

In an interview with the BBC’s Sports Editor Dan Roan in February, new Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe said it “doesn’t make sense for Dan Ashworth to be sat around doing nothing for 18 months”.

Ashworth previously worked at West Bromwich Albion, the FA and Brighton before joining Newcastle in 2022.

He has a long-standing relationship with Ineos head of sport Sir Dave Brailsford, dating back to Ashworth’s spell at the FA.

Ashworth joins a revamped leadership group at Old Trafford after Jason Wilcox joined as technical director from Southampton, while former Manchester City senior official Omar Berrada is set to join as chief executive.

Former Chelsea technical director Christopher Vivell is also set to join the club to help with the club’s recruitment.

Vivell’s arrival will initially be on a short-term basis, to assist during the current transfer window, although an extended stay has not been ruled out as United look to strengthen their football leadership and recruitment departments.

Vivell had previously worked for the Red Bull group in Salzburg and Leipzig.

The changes follow Ratcliffe becoming a minority owner of the club earlier this year, a move that allowed his Ineos Group to take charge of football operations.

A disappointing campaign last season ended with the club winning the FA Cup. Following a review by United’s board, it was confirmed in June that Erik ten Hag would remain as manager.


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