Man Utd staff 'learn Dan Ashworth boost' as Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirms major change

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is ‘confident’ Dan Ashworth will join soon. (Image: GETTY)

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has reportedly informed Manchester United staff that he is confident that Dan Ashworth will soon become the club’s new sporting director. The Red Devils co-owner also confirmed a major change to operations as part of INEOS’ ruthless restructuring off the pitch ahead of a busy summer of change on it.

Newcastle United were believed to have demanded £20million to part ways with Ashworth after he declared his interest in leaving for Old Trafford earlier this year.

United refused to meet that asking price and will now support Ashworth in an arbitration hearing expected to start in May and last several weeks.

If the 53-year-old is successful, he won’t have to serve the full duration of his gardening leave, which would spill into 2025.

According to The Athletic, Ratcliffe informed those in attendance at an all-staff meeting on Wednesday that he was confident Ashworth would join his new-look sporting hierarchy in the near future.

Omar Berrada will start as chief executive on July 13 – the end of his gardening leave at Manchester City – and Jason Wilcox has already got to work as United’s new technical director.

Ratcliffe, joined by the club’s interim chief executive Jean-Claude Blanc, also made staff aware of a significant change to day-to-day operations under the INEOS banner.

Watch all the Premier League and Champions League drama unfold on TNT Sports

Dan Ashworth is pushing to join Man Utd this year. (Image: Getty)

The report claims the 71-year-old kingpin wants United’s non-football employees to return to working in their Manchester and London offices on a full-time basis going forward.

Ratcliffe has stressed that the club must end its work-from-home culture as part of an INEOS initiative that is said to have received a mixed reception.

Some staff members have reportedly been boosted by the new United co-owners’ grand plans to restore the club’s reputation as the greatest in world football.

Others allegedly consider the switch an inconvenience to their life-work balance, which remote working has benefitted since becoming more common after the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the initiative will not be without its issues. The report adds that United’s offices have been reconfigured to suit the flexible working environment, leaving a shortage of desks in Manchester and London.

Manchester is said to have even less space due to part of the staff office space at Old Trafford being turned into matchday hospitality.

Patrick Stewart was reportedly among the members of United’s executive leadership to have pushed back on the plans.

But his impending exit alongside chief financial officer Cliff Baty was confirmed on Tuesday, and Ratcliffe has wasted no time in putting his ‘ruthless’ vow into practice.