Nicky Butt to leave Manchester United role for ‘new professional challenge’

Carl Markham, PA
·2-min read

Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt is to step down as the club’s head of first-team development to pursue “a new professional challenge”.

Butt has spent nine years in coaching and player development positions at the club’s academy, playing a key role in overseeing the progress of the likes of Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe, Dean Henderson and Mason Greenwood into the first team.

“Having come through the academy myself to play almost 400 games for Manchester United, it has been an absolute privilege to come back and work with a new generation of talent making that same journey,” Butt told

“I’m proud of the role everyone on the staff plays in giving our young footballers the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential, and the results are clear to see in the increased number of homegrown players reaching the first team.

“I already know from my playing days how difficult it is to leave Manchester United, but it feels like the right moment for a new professional challenge and I look forward to exploring opportunities that build on the great experiences I’ve had here over the past nine years.”

Butt’s former United team-mate and current first-team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer paid tribute to the work of the 46-year-old.

“Nicky will always be a legend of Manchester United as a six-time Premier League winner and, of course, an integral part of our treble-winning team,” he said.

Manchester United first team development coach Nicky Butt (left) oversees the players warming up on the pitch ahead
Nicky Butt is to leave his role as Manchester United first- team development coach (Phil Noble/PA)

“That pedigree has made him a great source of guidance and inspiration to our academy players since he returned to the club.

“We are all going to miss him around the Aon Training Complex but Nicky knows he will always be welcome back.”

Earlier this month United revamped their backroom set-up with John Murtough appointed to a new role of football director with former midfielder Darren Fletcher promoted to technical director.