Manchester United news: Nicky Butt’s departure influenced by John Murtough appointment

What was the recent restructuring at the club? Earlier in March, United appointed two internal

What was the recent restructuring at the club?

Earlier in March, United appointed two internal administrators to undertake the duties of a director of football — a position they had been aiming to fill since 2018.

Darren Fletcher became United’s first technical director, while Murtough was promoted to football director, becoming the most senior suit operating at Carrington.

How did this impact Butt?

Having spent three years as academy chief and two as head of first-team development, Butt also held aspirations of climbing to the kind of technical director role that Fletcher now holds.

Butt and Fletcher have a good relationship, having been United team-mates in the 2003-04 season. Butt would have liked to be considered for the role though and the sense of being overlooked was compounded when club officials failed to communicate the coming changes directly in advance.

What has Butt said about his departure?

“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.

“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.”

Does he have a next move planned?

Butt does not have anything lined up, despite speculation about a management position potentially opening up at Salford City if Gary Bowyer returns to Derby County as under-23 coach at the end of the season as planned.

The 46-year-old does, however, have fierce ambitions to continue in coaching.

What impact did he have at United?

Butt’s final role at United bridged the academy with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team. He provided an authentic voice to young players aiming to progress to the senior set-up, worked on sorting loans, and gave a trusted opinion to Solskjaer over players such as Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams, Shola Shoretire and Hannibal Mejbri.

He has also worked with Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Dean Henderson and Axel Tuanzebe since rejoining United in October 2012, helping the club reach 4,000 games in succession with an academy graduate in the squad.

He also spent 13 years at the club as a player, winning six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the Champions League.

Is there anything else I need to know?

For further exclusive insight on the 46-year-old’s departure from United and his imprint on the club, Go Deeper here.

(Photo: Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)