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Dan Ashworth’s full statement on sporting director role offers interesting insight for Man United fans



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Dan Ashworth looks increasingly likely to become the new sporting director at Manchester United, but what will his job actually entail?

Ashworth, 52, is being increasingly linked with the role at United, with those at Newcastle reportedly preparing themselves for his potential departure.

Sir Dave Brailsford has a close and long-standing relationship with the former Brighton technical director, and should he convince him to make the move, it would become the second higher-up to be attracted from a Premier League rival.

Alongside the expected addition of Ashworth in the sporting director role, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS are also likely to bring in a head of recruitment.

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However, a question remains amongst the fanbase when the clubs are making such moves: What will they actually do?

And there’s no better person than the man himself to explain. When he first joined Newcastle United from Brighton, Ashworth was able to dispel a myth about the role of a sporting director, as well as offer a solid explanation about what he is trying to do in that position.

“It’s very similar to my role as technical director at my previous employment. I always describe it as sitting in the middle of the wheel,” he explained on their YouTube channel.

“My job is to sit in the middle of the wheel and connect via the club’s different departments and just try and align everything as best as possible.

“Of course, there’s Eddie [Howe] as a men’s first-team point of view, Shola from player loans, Steve Harper from an academy perspective, Steve Nickson the doc from a medical point of view.

“Just to try and make sure that we have a cohesive way of working, to pull all of our resources together and have one plan to try and support the needs of the football club going forward.

“The womens team as well is something I took on at the FA and at Brighton and is something I’m really passionate about as well.

“It’s just to try and really drive all of the football areas of the club, bring them all together, try and get everyone working towards the same some, the same vision, the same mission and try and get the club where we all want to be.”

Amidst the fascination detail, Ashworth was also able to clarify an often-said myth about the level of focus on recruitment. This has been reported as something he would have focused on if he joins United.

“People think the job of sporting director is all about recruitment and all about recruitment for the men’s first team. It isn’t,” he explained further. “That’s a big part of it, of course, but it’s about all of the other things I’ve mentioned there and trying to get everyone working together from a technical point of view.”