Football

Nicky Butt steps down from role as Manchester United’s head of development for ‘new challenge’


Butt leaving after nine years behind the scenes at United (Picture: Getty)

Nicky Butt will step down from his role as Manchester United’s head of first-team development to pursue new challenges in the game.

Butt returned to Old Trafford in 2012 as a coach for the club’s reserve team having himself emerged from the club’s youth team 1992, spending the next 12 years in the senior squad.

He served in various coaching and development roles before being appointed head of first-team development, reporting to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as part of a restructure in 2019.

Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe, Dean Henderson and Mason Greenwood are among the academy players to have worked closely with Butt who oversaw their pathway to the first team from the youth ranks.

‘Having come through the Academy myself to play almost 400 games for Manchester United, it has been an absolute privilege to come back and work with a new generation of talent making that same journey,’ Butt said.

Butt reportedly directly to Solskjaer (Picture: Getty)

‘I’m proud of the role everyone on the staff plays in giving our young footballers the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential, and the results are clear to see in the increased number of homegrown players reaching the first team.

‘I already know from my playing days how difficult it is to leave Manchester United, but it feels like the right moment for a new professional challenge and I look forward to exploring opportunities that build on the great experiences I’ve had here over the past nine years.’

Butt’s departure follows further restructure at the club that saw former midfielder Darren Fletcher named technical director and John Murtough take up the club’s football director role.

Solskjaer meanwhile did not rule out Butt making a return to the club at a later stage.

‘Nicky will always be a legend of Manchester United as a six-time Premier League winner and, of course, an integral part of our Treble-winning team,’ Solskjaer said.

‘That pedigree has made him a great source of guidance and inspiration to our Academy players since he returned to the club.

‘We are all going to miss him around the Aon Training Complex but Nicky knows he will always be welcome back.’


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