A former Chelsea director played a key role in helping Manchester United secure the services of Erik ten Hag – whom they have appointed as their new permanent manager until June 2025.
Mike Forde spent six-years at Stamford Bridge as director of football operations between 2007 and 2013, having previously been performance director at Bolton for almost a decade after finishing a masters degree in sports psychology.
Nine years later, having co-founded Sportsology who aim to 'empower sports organisations to create and own their future', Forde played a role in a rival of his former employer getting their new manager across the line.
The Athletic report that United 'tapped into the expertise' of Forde who is executive chairman of Sportsology, having been used as a consultant by the Glazer family in the past.
United's official statement reads: "Manchester United is delighted to announce the appointment of Erik ten Hag as Men’s First Team Manager, subject to work visa requirements, from the end of this season until June 2025, with the option to extend for a further year."
With football director John Murtough adding: “During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team’s attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth.
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“In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that.
“We wish Erik the best of luck as he focuses on achieving a successful end to the season at Ajax.
"And look forward to welcoming him to Manchester United this summer.”
Ten Hag said of his upcoming move, which has an option to extend for another year: "It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead.
"I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.
"It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United."
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