Manchester United have announced a reshuffle of the club’s academy staff, with the headline news being a promotion for Nicky Butt. The former United midfielder will move from ‘head of academy’ to head of ‘first team development’, apparently reporting directly to first team coach Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Nick Cox has in turn also been promoted, replacing Butt in his old role.
We must admit, we’re not really sure what any of this means, and United’s press release doesn’t seem to shed much light on things. It’s not even clear if this really is a promotion for Butt, or whether it’s just a way of replacing him with Cox without shunting him aside completely. Judge for yourself:
Nicky will work closely with the manager and the first team coaching staff to continue the strong bond between the Academy and the first team, to create a seamless journey for young players stepping up to the next level. He will continue to be a key contributor on all major Academy decisions and will be part of the Technical Board on wider football leadership.
Butt, one of the class of ‘92, made almost 400 appearances for United between 1992 and 2004, and had been the club’s head of academy since February 2016.