Manchester United fans have been urged to grant Erik ten Hag patience by the club’s football director, with John Murtough claiming there is “clarity and confidence” regarding next season after the Dutchman’s prompt appointment.
Murtough’s plea emerged on the day United’s accounts revealed an 11.8% rise in their net debt to £495.7m in the year to 31 March and that the Glazer family’s 69% shareholding meant they had received a £7.51m dividend in the three months to 31 March.
Ten Hag is in his first week in charge after leaving Ajax and although he will not speak to players until they return for pre-season from 27 June, the Dutchman is beginning an overhaul of the side.
Regarding this Murtough, addressing the club’s fans’ forum, asked for patience in recognition of the scale of Ten Hag’s challenge. He acknowledged that United had been “disappointing” last term and said all at the club’s Carrington training base were intent on “significant improvement” next season.
Ten Hag said on Monday that he was confident of ending the dominance of Manchester City and Liverpool over the course of his contract, which runs for three seasons with the option to extend for a further year.
“Ten Hag is most closely aligned with the identity and aims of Manchester United,” Murtough said. “He has set out a long-term vision to build a successful, exciting team. [His early appointment] has given clarity and confidence.”
Murtough stated there were “hidden changes” being made to help the team. He is in the process of strengthening the scouting and recruitment department.
Murtough also pointed to the recruitment of the club’s first director of data, and planning is in process for a major redevelopment of training facilities.