Manchester United appoint Nicky Butt as head of academy
Nicky Butt, the former Manchester United player has been given the task of revamping the youth system at the record Premier League champions. The United star played 387 games in total for the Red Devils before signing with Newcastle United in 2004.
The Englishman was part of the famous ‘Class of 92’ team that included Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs amongst others. Butt will take over from Brian McClair who left the position last year. This was not the only member of the youth academy to leave United as Paul McGuinness left his position a few days earlier as the U18 coach.
“I am delighted that Nicky has accepted the role of Head of Academy,” said executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in a statement on the club’s website. “Nicky has the traditions and heritage of this club in his blood and he is the natural choice to ensure that, in modernising the way the Academy operates and shaping the new investment we are making, it retains the values and the focus that it has always had.”
Butt added: “It’s a privilege to take on this role. As someone who learned his trade in the United youth set-up, it’s a huge honour now to be given the chance to lead the Academy and to instil its values and attitudes to continue to create future generations of Manchester United players.
“It’s a big challenge but I am fortunate to be taking over a dedicated, first-class team. Our aim remains the same – to keep supplying the first team with well-coached, rounded players that understand the responsibility of playing for the biggest club in the world.”
Butt does have a formidable job on his hands as many believe that the Manchester United youth policy has fallen behind some of the top clubs in the Premier League. The former Manchester United star won six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a UEFA Champions League with The Red Devils before moving to Newcastle and ended his playing career for South China.
This appointment is in line with Manchester United's policy of bringing in former players for coaching roles. Ryan Giggs has been part of the Manchester United coaching staff since 2013 and even took charge of the club for a few games after David Moyes was sacked in 2014.