Man Utd: Two senior figures ‘face being sacked’ as Sir Jim Ratcliffe gets ruthless | Football | Sport

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Manchester United staff members Darren Fletcher and Matt Hargreaves have reportedly not been reassured of their futures by INEOS chiefs. Fletcher has been technical director since March 2021, while Hargreaves is the club’s director of football negotiations.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe had his purchase of 27.7 per cent of United ratified by the Premier League and the Football Association last week. There are expected to be major changes made to the Old Trafford hierarchy.

United are in discussions with Newcastle over sporting director Dan Ashworth, who has been placed on gardening leave by the Magpies until 2026. Omar Berrada will take on the role of CEO once he has worked his notice at rivals Manchester City.

Insiders at United reportedly believe there will be “lots of changes” to the network of officials within the club. Ratcliffe is keen to build a sporting team consisting of the best brains in football.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Fletcher and Hargreaves are believed to be among the staff who are uncertain over their respective futures. Former United midfielder Fletcher has been a prominent face at Old Trafford and the club’s Carrington training base over the past few years.

It is also unclear whether John Murtough will retain his role as football director or move into a more administrative position. The pursuit of Ashworth suggests that INEOS wish to fill Murtough’s role with someone from a more natural sporting director background.

Ratcliffe appeared to bypass Murtough’s job title when discussing his plans for the future on Thursday. Speaking at INEOS’s London headquarters, he said: “You need the right organisational structure. Which means not having a coach reporting to the chief executive, for instance, which is what they’ve got at the moment.”

INEOS are keen to catch up with their Big Six rivals as quickly as possible. A new sporting hierarchy is being put together, with key appointments already made.

They secured a coup by luring Berrada from Manchester City. The well-respected Spaniard will begin his job as CEO ahead of the 2024-25 season. Patrick Stewart will be acting CEO until then.

United are reportedly being told to pay around £20m for Newcastle sporting director Ashworth, something Ratcliffe seemed unhappy about on Thursday. There is also reported interest in Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox.

A positive start to 2024 has seen United go unbeaten since the turn of the year. It means pressure on Ten Hag has been stifled for now, although Ratcliffe is targeting a top four finish come the end of the campaign. The Red Devils are currently five points off fourth-placed Aston Villa.

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