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Manchester United interest in Newcastle United Director – A non-story

2 months ago

This Tuesday morning has seen a story (‘exclusive’) linking Manchester United and Newcastle United.

This follows the claims that Jim Ratcliffe is going to buy a minority 25 per cent stake in Manchester United.

Not exactly the news Man U fans had been hoping for, especially when you see how little investment Ratcliffe has put into Nice, the club that he entirely owns.

Ratcliffe seemingly set to be jumping into bed with the Glazers, seeing the Man U fans out protesting once again with their Norwich scarves.

Anyway, this morning seeing an ‘exclusive’ headlined with ‘Newcastle United will reject any Manchester United approach for director of football Dan Ashworth’, in Tuesday’s report.

I am not quite sure what part of this is an ‘exclusive’, all sounds a bit feeble to me.

Surely we all know that Newcastle United would reject approaches from any club for Sporting Director Dan Ashworth. Whether it is a struggling Manchester United or whoever.

The Newcastle United owners went to great lengths to secure Ashworth from Brighton, paying hefty compensation and having a lenthy wait before he was allowed to start the job at St James’ Park.

He is very highly regarded in the industry, was seen as a massive coup when Newcastle landed him and has overseen some tremendous recruitment at all levels of the football side (on and off the pitch) of the club, plus his many other responsibilities that are part of his role.

Newcastle United Sporting Director Dan Ashworth in charge of arguably the most exciting and resourced long-term scheme for progression at any club.

So why would anybody be thinking there was the remotest chance that either Ashworth or the football club would be wanting to part company?

The i news ‘exclusive’ report – 17 October 2023:

‘Ratcliffe’s due diligence on where the Red Devils are falling behind will have identified recruitment as a major failing and the spotlight will undoubtedly fall on director of football John Murtough and chief executive Richard Arnold.’

A proposed restructure of football operations is one potential solution with a new director of football possible. Likely candidates include Paul Mitchell, who has recently left Monaco and is based in Manchester, and former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards.

And Ratcliffe has been greatly impressed by the work done by (Dan) Ashworth, who has overseen the second phase of Newcastle’s development after their 2021 takeover by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund.’

Any approach would most likely fail, i understands. The Magpies no longer see themselves as a stepping stone club and in addition to huge compensation that any rival would need to pay to poach Ashworth, there is confidence he would not be interested in leaving Newcastle at such an important stage in their development.

Indeed i understands that Ashworth is committed to his role in the North East…’


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