Dan Ashworth Joins Manchester United as Sporting Director

Manchester United appoints Dan Ashworth as their new sporting director following a negotiated release from Newcastle.
Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Manchester United have announced the appointment of Dan Ashworth as their new sporting director. Ashworth, who had been placed on gardening leave by Newcastle United in February, starts his new role at Old Trafford with immediate effect.

The 53-year-old’s move to Manchester United follows negotiations between the two clubs, resulting in a confidential agreement for Ashworth’s release. Newcastle had demanded £20 million in compensation when Manchester United came in calling for the sporting director, but a compromise was reached which also aids Newcastle's compliance with Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR).

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A joint statement from the 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."

Ashworth’s appointment is the latest in a series of hierarchical changes overseen by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the new INEOS minority investors since their takeover earlier this year. Sir Jim Ratcliffe was full of praise for Dan Ashworth, stating, “Dan Ashworth is clearly one of the top sporting directors in the world. I’ve no doubt he’s a very, very capable person.”

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Ashworth’s impressive track record includes his West Brom, English FA, Brighton, and the latest Newcastle role. His experience is expected to play a crucial role in Manchester United’s rebuilding efforts where they face a significant period in their history lacking success in the top domestic and European competitions. Sir Jim Ratcliffe emphasized the significance of Ashworth's new role: "With Manchester United, you’ve got quite a significant building job. I think it’d be a very good addition to Manchester United."

Ashworth joins other recent additions to the United set-up, including Omar Berrada from Manchester City as chief executive and Jason Wilcox from Southampton as academy director.

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