Dan Ashworth’s Secret Talks with Manchester United Uncovered

Dan Ashworth’s Secret Talks with Manchester United Uncovered

Dan Ashworth, Newcastle United’s sporting director, found himself at the center of a brewing scandal after trying to conceal an email revealing his secret negotiations with Manchester United.

In early February, Ashworth sent an email to Omar Berrada, the incoming Manchester United chief executive, expressing his desire to take on a similar role at Old Trafford.

However, he inadvertently sent a blind copy to his Newcastle email address, which he later attempted to delete.

This misstep left a digital trail that Newcastle discovered, leading to a potential Premier League investigation if a formal complaint is lodged.

Discovery and Fallout

The accidental discovery of the email was embarrassing for both Ashworth and Berrada, who was still on gardening leave from Manchester City.

Newcastle was unaware of Ashworth’s clandestine talks with a rival club at the time, adding to the gravity of the situation.

The revelation came at a particularly sensitive moment, with no formal approach from Manchester United to Newcastle and Ashworth having failed to inform his employers about his secret negotiations.

Eddie Howe’s Comments and Ashworth’s Reaction

Adding another layer to the saga, Ashworth claimed that comments made by Newcastle’s head coach, Eddie Howe, rendered his position untenable.

On February 16, following the revelation of Ashworth’s potential move to Manchester United, Howe addressed the issue in a press conference.

He expressed concern that Ashworth still had access to Newcastle’s transfer plans and financial information, advocating for a swift resolution.

Ashworth interpreted these remarks as undermining his ability to continue working for the club, though he had already accepted Manchester United’s offer by that point.

The Official Notification and Its Aftermath

On February 18, Ashworth officially informed Newcastle of his intention to join Manchester United, resulting in his immediate placement on gardening leave.

According to Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, this leave is expected to last until the end of 2025. Newcastle is currently waiting for a satisfactory offer to release Ashworth early.

Meanwhile, Ashworth is reported to be preparing to take Newcastle to arbitration, arguing that he was effectively sacked rather than resigning voluntarily.

Arbitration and Legal Disputes

Ashworth’s case for arbitration hinges on his belief that he was not formally asked to submit a written resignation by Newcastle’s chief executive, Darren Eales.

He contends that he should not have been placed on gardening leave without this formal step, thereby arguing that he was removed from his position rather than stepping down willingly.

Arbitration is typically a confidential process, and neither Newcastle nor Manchester United have commented on the situation when approached by Mail Sport.

Potential Premier League Probe

The controversy surrounding Ashworth’s secret talks with Manchester United and the subsequent fallout has cast a shadow over his professional conduct and could potentially lead to a Premier League investigation.

If Newcastle decides to file a formal complaint, it could trigger a probe into the actions of both Ashworth and Berrada.

The ramifications of such an investigation could impact not only Ashworth’s immediate future but also the reputations of both Newcastle United and Manchester United.

Conclusion: A Scandal Unfolds

Dan Ashworth’s situation presents a complex mix of secrecy, professional rivalry, and potential legal battles.

His attempt to cover his tracks has only deepened the controversy, leading to significant repercussions for all parties involved.

As the arbitration process unfolds and the possibility of a Premier League investigation looms, the football world will be watching closely to see how this intricate saga resolves.

The case underscores the high-stakes nature of top-tier football management and the profound impact that individual actions can have on entire clubs and their futures.

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