Manchester United fans will love one difference that sets John Murtough apart from Ed Woodward. With so much uncertainty around Old Trafford ahead of the summer transfer window, this is a crucial period for the Red Devils.
It would be suffice to say that Woodward has not been an overly beloved member of the United board since his promotion in 2013.
That year signalled Sir Alex Ferguson’s farewell – and the club waved goodbye to their domination over the Premier League.
Many fans have pointed the blame at Woodward, who has been in charge of more than just transfers but the overall direction of the Red Devils – commercially and globally.
And now the United chief is on his way out with Richard Arnold picking up most of his duties.
However, the Old Trafford outfit do have a new man taking over on the transfer front with Murtough stepping up to the plate in what promises to be a baptism of fire this summer.
While he has been with United since 2013, he has been appointed as the club’s first ever football director having been promoted from his post as head of football development.
This summer promises to be full of surprises – who will be manager? Will Cristiano Ronaldo stay? What will happen to those out on loan? Who is coming in?
It would be no exaggeration to say that this might be United’s most important summer since Ferguson’s departure – they cannot get it wrong.
And while fans would have had no confidence in Woodward getting those decisions spot on – a new man is in and there is reason to feel optimistic.
Murtough is not from the school of business that the Chelmsford-born executive hails from and is much more involved in football duties.
Whereas Woodward was concentrated on commercialism and growing the club’s brand abroad, Murtough has a Master’s in sport psychology and has a wider understanding of how a football team works.
He understands how United work from the academy up and has spoken extensively to those that keep the cogs moving at Old Trafford.
It is no surprise that he was even referred to as United’s “fixer” by Woodward, The Athletic reports, while the scale of the task has not been lost on the club.
The Athletic also state that a deputy football director will be appointed to work under Murtough, with the aim to quell the outrageous spending but still bring success.
Over £1billion has been spent since Fergie’s departure and there has been little to shout about since then.
But Murtough gives United a chance to begin a new era under a new manager and fans finally might to see some significant changes around the place.