Manchester United have appointed Rebecca Scott as club secretary following the retirement of John Alexander and will appoint a director of football operations, according to reports.
Alexander, who is the uncle of Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, spent seven years at the club and retired from his role in September.
The club has been reluctant to appoint a director of football in the past for fear of diluting the manager’s role, but Alexander’s departure has been treated as a chance to restructure the way operations are handled at the top.
And according to M.E.N‘s Samuel Luckhurst, Britain’s arrival from Tottenham Hotspur will coincide with splitting the role into three separate departments, with a director of football set to take a more hands-on role with transfer policy.
Jose Mourinho’s demise at both Real Madrid and Chelsea were closely linked with disputes with the club’s footballing director – a role he found to be too powerful at the Bernabeu especially – but the post-Fergie era at Old Trafford serves as a clear example of why the role, adopted by more or less all top clubs, is necessary.
United’s continually disjoined performances can be largely put down to having three managers in the space of four years enter the club and make signings that, when put together, often don’t make an awful lot of sense.
The role of football director is to preside closely over arrivals and departures, ensuring that a long-term strategy and a sense of structure is favoured over arbitrarily signing players who seem suitable at a particular given time.
Ed Woodward has generally conducted himself well as executive vice chairman but his role in signings have, in keeping with his background, felt largely business-oriented – geared towards profit and shares as opposed to the team’s welfare – and supporters will hope this change of tack from United helps to shift them away from the systemic inertia that still runs deep following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill in 2013.