Manchester United’s director of football negotiations, Matt Judge, has resigned from his position as the club’s reorganisation and rebuild continues.
It has been a truly woeful season for Manchester United on the pitch, while things off the pitch have been the subject of plenty of criticism for a number of years, with Gary Neville regularly calling for structural change.
The club’s involvement and subsequent collapse of the European Super League seemed to be the proverbial straw that finally broke the camel’s back last year, with the then executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, stepping down from his position in the aftermath.
Richard Arnold has since been installed as the club’s CEO, though criticisms have run far deeper than just the figurehead, with the recruitment of both managers and players having been erratic for a number of years, with very little evidence of clear planning and thinking.
United did appoint John Murtough as their first-ever director of football last year in what was the start of a reshuffle, with Murtough assuming responsibility for the club’s recruitment and bringing in Ralf Rangnick as the club’s interim manager last November.
However, upon the end of his interim spell on the sidelines, the former RB Leipzig director of football will move into a consultancy role in the summer – as well as taking on the Austrian National Team’s head coach job – and while results on the pitch under his tenure have been poor to say the least, his influence off the pitch may well just starting to be felt.
The 63-year-old has been increasingly vocal in recent weeks about what the club need to do to get back to being successful, pointing out the need for the recruitment of scouts, players and managers to all be in alignment.
Since then, chief scout, Jim Lawlor, and head of global scouting, Marcel Bout, have both left their respective roles, and according to The Athletic, they will be followed out of the exit door by director of football negotiations, Matt Judge, who has handed in his resignation.
Who remember this quote! 👇
🚨🎙Patrice Evra: “A sporting director from a top club called me and asked me to tell Matt Judge to answer his phone” #MUFC
— UtdPlug (@UtdPlug) April 29, 2022
The report says Judge has been ‘considering his position for a number of weeks’ amid the club’s restructuring, though his departure is described as ‘amicable’.
The economics graduate was one of the most influential figures at the club under Woodward, and while he has overseen a handful of decent signings over the years, his overall record is one of disappointment.
The club’s transfer pursuits often turn out to be long, drawn-out public affairs, while they have also struggled to offload their fringe players for any kind of significant fee, all while the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have shown themselves to be shrewd operators in the market.
According to James Ducker of the Telegraph, United will replace Judge ‘soon’, and will also appoint a deputy football director, with Monaco’s Paul Mitchell having been linked with the club.
It has been reported in recent weeks that Rangnick has recommended that the club hire Mitchell in some capacity, the Mancunian having developed an excellent reputation of recruitment during his time at Southampton and Spurs, before his more recent roles at RB Leipzig and Monaco.
Mitchell has been pictured with Rangnick at a handful of Manchester United’s academy games this season, though has also been linked to Chelsea.