Sir Jim Ratcliffe means business as ‘expert communicator’ set for key Man Utd role | Football | Sport


Manchester United are reportedly set to appoint Matt Johnson as the club’s new head of women’s football as Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS’ structural overhaul accelerates. Johnson is expected to take the role on an interim basis while United’s new co-owners complete a review of football operations.

In February, the Red Devils confirmed that Polly Bancroft, the current head of women’s football, would be leaving at the end of the season.

Bancroft has been appointed chief executive of League Two outfit Grimsby Town, leaving one of the most important roles on the women’s side of the club vacant.

Ratcliffe has insisted that INEOS’ upheaval will spark change in the men’s, women’s, and youth departments, attempting to streamline all operations in M16.

According to the Mail, Johnson will be Ratcliffe’s first major hire for United’s women’s team, temporarily replacing Bancroft at the helm.

Johnson currently works as the Manchester United Foundation’s operations director after spending five years as performance director for the girls’ talent club.

He was previously the technical director of Blackburn Rovers’ Girls Centre of Excellence and is highly rated for his work with young players.

The report adds that those in power before Ratcliffe selected Johnson due to his elite communication skills and his ability to connect the women’s youth ranks with the first team.

It’s claimed he will initially accept the role for six months, affording United time to weigh up their long-term model for the women’s project.

Ratcliffe has emphasised his determination to restore the glory days beyond solely the men’s team, which often overshadows other aspects of the club due to its magnitude.

“I think any team that wears that Manchester United badge on their shirt is important to the club because they’re wearing the badge and they need to be successful in winning. So they’re all important components of the club,” Ratcliffe explained after securing a 27.7 per cent stake.”

Johnson’s new role will involve overseeing the strategic direction, operations and performance of United’s women’s first team and academy.

On a day-to-day basis, he will be a central figure in decision-making, reporting to United deputy football director Andy O’Boyle and working closely with manager Marc Skinner.

Bancroft has been United’s head of football since October 2022, when the club created the role for her after she left Brighton and Hove Albion, where she was general manager.

But Johnson’s appointment is the first bit of movement in a wide-scale overhaul as Ratcliffe aims to direct United towards the summit of world football on all fronts.


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