Ashworth free to join Man Utd after compensation agreed with Newcastle

Dan Ashworth: Has worked for Newcastle United since June 2022

Dan Ashworth: Has worked for Newcastle United since June 2022

Manchester United have agreed a compensation package with Newcastle United for Sporting Director Dan Ashworth, meaning he is free to start work at Old Trafford immediately.

United’s new co-owners, INEOS, have made the appointment of Ashworth the cornerstone of their new football operation. The 53-year-old has developed a reputation as the leading Sporting Director in British football during spells with West Brom, the Football Association, Brighton and Newcastle United.

At Manchester United, he will have ultimate oversight of the entire football operation at United, including recruitment, analysis, Academy, data science, performance and medical, and men's and women's senior sides.

United had been struggling to agree a compensation package with Newcastle but now, after almost five months of negotiations, Ashworth is free to begin his role at Old Trafford.

Mina Cup

In a joint statement, the clubs said: “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.”

The Sporting Director had been placed on gardening leave by the Magpies in February - and it had looked as if an independent hearing would be required to sort out a compensation package with Manchester United.

Ashworth appeared on Episode #20 of the TGG Podcast in December 2020 (which you can listen to below), when he was Technical Director at Brighton, and gave in-depth insights into his job.

“The principle, in my opinion, is to look after the medium to long term interests of the football club,” he explained. “It’s not about short-term 'get a result against Liverpool tomorrow', it’s to try and make sure the club is set up in a way that those other departments… are there for the longer-term benefits of the club.

“Another thing that’s important is the connection from the boardroom onto the pitch. Every club has a CEO and chairman - and budgets, philosophies and principles - and it’s really important we get that across, whether it’s club values or maximising the budget and making sure we’re spending the money in the right way.”

At Manchester United, Ashworth will report into Sir Dave Brailsford, the INEOS Director of Sport, with whom he has a long-standing relationship. John Murtough stepped down as United's Football Director in April after 11 years, which made way for Ashworth’s appointment.

Jason Wilcox, who joined from Southampton as Technical Director in April, will report into Ashworth. Wilcox will be primarily responsible for overseeing a consistent game model and coaching methodology throughout United's teams.

At our TGG Live Conference in October 2023, Ashworth gave a fascinating insight into how he approaches the first 90 days in a new job. You can read about that HERE.

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