Manchester United: Sir Jim Ratcliffe delivers verdict on Glazer family as he makes Dan Ashworth claim

Manchester United: Sir Jim Ratcliffe delivers verdict on Glazer family as he makes Dan Ashworth claim

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has described Dan Ashworth as a “10/10 sporting director” and believes he would embrace the challenge of taking on the role at Manchester United.

Ratcliffe’s admiration for Ashworth’s work as technical director at The FA and sporting director at Brighton and, more recently, Newcastle is well documented.

United approached Ashworth last week over the possibility of him taking on the role as sporting director following Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 27.7 per cent stake in United.

Ashworth has since been placed on gardening leave by current employers Newcastle, who bought him out of his Brighton contract in February 2022.

Ratcliffe said: “I think it’s a bit silly, personally. I won’t get dragged into that. What I do think is completely absurd is suggesting a man who is really good at his job sits in his garden for one and a half years.

“I think Dan Ashworth is a 10/10 sporting director — one of the best around. He would be very good for Manchester United. It is understandable that somebody like Dan would see the Manchester United job as a very interesting challenge at this stage of his career.

“Ultimately, you can't really criticise Dan for looking at maybe the most coveted job in football as a sporting director, particularly with the challenge at Manchester United. What doesn't make sense is for Dan Ashworth to be sat doing nothing for 18 months.”

While Ratcliffe has become the chief of Manchester United’s football operations, the Glazers remain the club’s majority owners. Ratcliffe was keen to assert that he expects to have a productive working relationship with them.

“I only know Joel and Avram and they are, despite what you might read in the press, very nice people,” he said.

“[They are] very courteous and they are avid supporters of Manchester United. I understand the frustrations and the anger [of supporters] but I am looking forward not backward.

“Try to be patient and we'll try to build Manchester United back to where it should be, which is as one of the very elite clubs in the world. The key to it working is the relationship we will have with Joel and Avram, which in my view is a very good and trusting relationship.

“I think in a way it might have been the easier solution for the Glazer family to sell outright to the Qataris. To be fair to the Glazers, they thought the best solution was to sell to me because they thought United would benefit more from that.”