Manchester United’s departing transfer chief Matt Judge “felt frustration after Ed Woodward left and guidance over his role diminished” – and he “did NOT enjoy the same direct line to new CEO Richard Arnold.”
The remarkable power struggle that led to Matt Judge’s departure from Manchester United has been revealed today, leaving agents and players scrambling to change their approaches to the club ahead of a busy summer of business.
Judge, United’s director of football negotiations, is currently on leave and will leave the club later this year.
As a result, he is unlikely to be involved in any of the Red Devils’ moves in the following window.
The club has undergone a significant backroom reshuffle in recent weeks, with Judge’s departure leaving John Murtough, their football director, in charge of recruitment.
However, the underlying issues at United have now been revealed, with The Athletic reporting that Ed Woodward’s departure, combined with Murtough’s promotion, resulted in a situation in which Judge chose to step down.
It’s also said that Murtough’s promotion was ‘tough’ for Judge to deal with.
With the arrival of Woodward’s successor, Richard Arnold, Judge’s dynamics at United changed, with the finance chief no longer having a direct line to his new boss.
He then chose to resign, a shocking decision made while successfully concluding negotiations for Erik ten Hag to become the club’s next manager.
With Judge stepping back from speaking with players and their agents, agents will be forced to change how they communicate with United ahead of the summer. For many of them, he was their first point of contact, albeit one that was heavily criticized.
The departure of Judge was met with a positive reaction from United fans, and The Athletic reports that this was ‘partly echoed’ within the walls of Old Trafford.
According to multiple sources, Judge is largely to blame for United’s failed, scattergun approach to spending over the last decade.
With him in charge, the club missed out on signing Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham, despite being in a strong position to do so.
They also failed to sign Joao Cancelo, who eventually signed with Manchester City.
Nonetheless, Woodward insisted that Judge’s background in banking made him the ideal candidate to deal with the volatile world of football.
He was also described as having a good poker face, which was intriguing.
After confirming the departures of Jim Lawlor and Marcel Bout earlier this month, United are expected to overhaul their scouting network this summer.
Lawlor, 57, served as chief scout for 16 years after joining Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad.
He was given a new role six years ago that required him to oversee a larger network of scouts, but the system is set to change again this summer.
Bout, meanwhile, joined Louis van Gaal’s backroom staff in 2014. Two years later, he was named United’s head of global scouting.