• Sunday, July 14, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Man United finally appoint Dan Ashworth as sporting director

Dan Ashworth

Manchester United have appointed Dan Ashworth as sporting director with immediate effect. Ashworth, 53, had been on gardening leave since February after expressing his desire to leave Newcastle United for the revamped setup under Ineos at Old Trafford.

The former technical director at the Football Association and Brighton was initially set to take Newcastle to arbitration to resolve the move. However, talks between the clubs led to an out-of-court settlement last week, allowing Ashworth to commence his new position.

A joint statement from the two clubs read: “Newcastle United and Manchester United have reached an agreement for the immediate release of Dan Ashworth from his contractual obligations at Newcastle United. The terms of this agreement remain confidential between the clubs. Newcastle United thanks Dan for his services and wishes him well for the future.”

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

Newcastle initially demanded £20million compensation for Ashworth, with Manchester United looking to pay a fraction of that, but a compromise was reached in the last few days.

The deal also helped Newcastle comply with Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) this month.

The hiring of Ashworth is the latest move by Sir Ratcliffe since they took over the club. Omar Berrada joined from Manchester City as United’s new chief executive, while Jason Wilcox arrived as the new academy director from Southampton.

Ashworth, who joined Newcastle in 2022, has a longstanding relationship with INEOS head of sport Sir Dave Brailsford, dating back to his tenure at the FA. Joining a restructured leadership team at Old Trafford, Ashworth will work alongside Jason Wilcox and Omar Berrada.