x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Manchester City appoint Txiki Begiristain as director of football

The former Barcelona technical head's appointment is part of new Dh1.47 billion investment in the future by the Premier League champions.

Txiki Begiristain joined Manchester City as Director of Football, with Brian Marwood becoming the managing director of the City Football Academy.
Txiki Begiristain joined Manchester City as Director of Football, with Brian Marwood becoming the managing director of the City Football Academy.

Manchester City have appointed Txiki Begiristain as their director of football as part of new £250 million (Dh1.47 billion) investment to establish themselves as the foremost recruiters and developers of talent in world football.

The former Barcelona technical director will oversee all organisational matters for City's first team, including a restructure of player recruitment.

Brian Marwood, who had held responsibility for those areas, has chosen to take on a key role in City's new organisational structure as Managing Director of the City Football Academy (CFA).

The Premier League club is investing close to £200m in the project, including the building and staffing of dedicated training facilities alongside the senior squad's on the Etihad Campus while establishing a series of international satellites.

The CFA will be operational by the start of the 2013/14 season. The idea is to create a common football philosophy throughout the club which links the youngest academy boy to the most senior first team player.

Further funds have been set aside for Begiristain to invest in the club's scouting network and player recruitment.

The division of Marwood's responsibilities and top-to-bottom restructure of City's football operations has been implemented by new chief executive Ferran Soriano.

Also a well-regarded former Barcelona executive, Soriano has been charged by City with doubling the club's annual income and guiding the club to the summit of the European game.

Begiristain, who will take charge of contract negotiations for the first team and liaising with head coach Roberto Mancini, has already begun work on an expansion of City's scouting network.

The club lost the head of its existing structure, Mike Rigg, to Queens Park Rangers earlier this year, while David Fallows and Barry Hunter exited for senior positions at Liverpool. The father of Bojan Krkic, the former Barcelona forward, is expected to be given a scout's position.

"I am very pleased indeed to have been offered such an exciting opportunity," said Begiristain yesterday. "The progress and on field achievements at Manchester City are plain for all to see and I am honoured to have been asked to contribute to its future success.

"I am very much looking forward to working with Brian Marwood, Roberto Mancini and Ferran Soriano in continuing to build a football team and philosophy which will serve Manchester City well in the near and long term future."

Marwood is said to be delighted with the opportunity to focus his attentions on a project of the scale of the new academy with both a domestic and international scope. He spent Thursday and Friday with Begiristain discussing joint plans for the club.

"The club's new football operations structure is a hallmark of our hard work to date and the two leadership roles are a necessity borne of both success and ambition," said Marwood. "Txiki and I have a shared philosophy when it comes to football operations and I very much look forward to the work that we will carry out together.

"The leadership of CFA allows me to take up an incredibly challenging role. We have a shared expectation that CFA will shape the footballing future of MCFC and as a result it is a role through which I feel I can make a major contribution to the club."

Soriano started as chief executive at the beginning of September after an extended courtship. He said: "Sustainability has always been central to Sheikh Mansour [Bin Zayed]'s investment in Manchester City Football Club.

"The long term future of the football club is dependent upon our ability to recruit and develop young players all the way through to the first team squad. The focus must be on both academy and first team and the close coordination between them.

"Given the scale and importance of this challenge, we want to commit our very best people to it. I am delighted that Brian Marwood, will take leadership of the CFA initiative and I am equally very pleased to welcome an individual of Txiki Bergiristain's calibre to the club.

"I have no doubt that together, and in support of Roberto Mancini and the wider football club, they will be a formidable team."

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