Erik ten Hag, the current manager of Manchester United, continues to have the unwavering support of the club’s hierarchy, including Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is in the process of acquiring a 25% stake in the club and is set to assume control of football operations at Old Trafford, according to information obtained by 90min.
Pressure has intensified on the Dutch coach since the start of the new season, with Manchester United struggling to deliver consistent performances and suffering a series of disheartening defeats, most recently a 3-0 loss to cross-town rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag was appointed in the summer of 2022 by the Glazer family, the club’s owners, and the current chief executive, Richard Arnold, following United’s worst Premier League season. His initial season with the club ended with a top-four finish and a League Cup victory. However, this season has witnessed a noticeable decline in performance on the field.
Despite the challenges and the pressure, it is understood that the Glazers and Arnold are prepared to stand by Ten Hag, believing in his ability to turn the situation around.
Nevertheless, the Glazers are in the process of ceding control of the club’s sporting operations, with Ratcliffe and INEOS involved in discussions about finalizing their stake acquisition, a process that has been nearly a year in the making as part of the owners’ exploration of “strategic alternatives.”
Ratcliffe, Sir Dave Brailsford, and those soon to assume control remain confident in Ten Hag’s position as manager, despite the club’s rocky start to the season. Ten Hag’s prior accomplishments at United and his time at Ajax have convinced them of his managerial qualities. In their view, the club’s current struggles cannot be solely attributed to the manager.
Ratcliffe’s initial decisions, once control is assumed, are expected to have a direct impact on the footballing structure. The current sporting direction is overseen by CEO Arnold and John Murtough, the club’s football director. Both have faced significant pressure and criticism, particularly regarding their handling of off-field matters involving players Mason Greenwood and Antony.
United’s policy of granting managers substantial influence over transfer decisions has come under scrutiny in recent years. This is something Ratcliffe aims to address, with Paul Mitchell among the candidates for the role of a new sporting director or a similar position in the restructured football operation. A new approach to the club’s transfer strategy is likely, moving towards a “continental model” that emphasizes a consistent and long-term vision.
The club is not expected to make significant moves in the January transfer window, although this could change if Mitchell is introduced before then. Jadon Sancho is anticipated to depart, but the focus is on achieving stability with the manager and the squad while substantial changes occur behind the scenes, an essential factor during a period of uncertainty at the club.
Manchester United aims to have Ten Hag concentrate on coaching and getting the best from the current squad, with an emphasis on stability and an avoidance of hasty decisions. An inquiry into the current operation is set to be conducted for the long-term benefit of the club, with Sir Dave Brailsford expected to lead this process.