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Manchester United’s interesting messaging shows difference between Erik ten Hag’s contract and others



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Manchester United have announced that Erik ten Hag’s contract has been extended until 2026, but there is an interesting piece of messaging that must be taken into account.

On Thursday morning, Manchester United announced that Erik ten Hag has extended his club contract until 2026.

“Erik ten Hag has extended his contract as Manchester United men’s first-team manager until June 2026,” a club statement read.

Read More: Dan Ashworth’s influence in Erik ten Hag contract change is clear, Man United listened

What is very interesting about this messaging is how the agreement on extended terms has been phrased. In reality, all that has happened is that the one-year extension option in his existing deal has been triggered, but the phrasing of the above statement is different.

United have, as far as we are aware, chosen to have his deal extended, rather than it being a decision the club has made. Although the extensions of deals earlier this year for the likes of Victor Lindelöf and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were communicated as club decisions, the same action has been portrayed as one that the contract-ee, in this case Ten Hag, has chosen.

The option to extend his contract is categorically out of his hands. It is at the sole discretion of the club, but this messaging shows that the club chose to ensure a mutual agreement when they didn’t need to, which further strengthens the message that they are completely behind Ten Hag and that his reported “trial period” is over.

It is also stated in United’s X post that Ten Hag had signed “a new contract” at the club rather than having just extended his current deal.

“I am very pleased to have reached (an) agreement with the club to continue working together,” Ten Hag said in a full statement. “Looking back at the past two years, we can reflect with pride on two trophies and many examples of progression from where we were when I joined.

“However, we must also be clear that there is still lots of hard work ahead to reach the levels expected of Manchester United, which means challenging for English and European titles.

“In my discussions with the club, we have found complete unity in our vision for reaching those goals, and we are all strongly committed to making that journey together.”

This is a sentence that new sporting director Dan Ashworth shares. “With two trophies in the past two seasons, Erik has reinforced his record as one of the most consistently successful coaches in European football,” Ashworth added.

“While the club’s review of last season highlighted areas for improvement, it also reached a clear conclusion that Erik was the best partner for us to work with in driving up standards and outcomes.

“This group of players and staff have already shown they are capable of competing and winning at the top level; now we need to do it more consistently.

“With our strengthened football leadership team now in place, we are looking forward to working hand-in-hand with Erik to achieve our shared ambitions for this football club.”

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