Manchester United manager Casey Stoney is set to step down from her role as manager at the end of the current season.
Stoney has been in charge of Man Utd since 2018 when the team was first founded, having earned promotion from the FA Women’s Championship to the Women’s Super League in 2018-19.
Stoney, has been unhappy with the support structure and facilities since the club made the temporary switch to the men’s base at Carrington at the start of the year.
Players were unable to shower in between training and meals before makeshift portacabins were installed while the nearest toilets are a 10-minute walk from their training pitch. Their gym is also in a tented facility.
Upgrades promised by the club and football director John Murtough have not been forthcoming.
The club requested a move from Leigh because they kept picking up injuries on what they felt were poor pitches. However, United see things differently as the men’s U23s have used them.
Players are understood to feel let down by the way United have handled their presence at Carrington and hear contrasting stories from the women’s team at Manchester City, where Pep Guardiola is known to watch training and encourage togetherness.
There is also a frustration at the club’s unwillingness to accommodate them at Carrington on a full-time basis. One source told Sportsmail that a move to Carrington is the ‘million-dollar question’, but a permanent switch is not anticipated for at least another year, if not longer.
Joel Glazer last week referenced that the club will need to significantly increase investment in Old Trafford and our training complex to ensure that the facilities remain among the best in Europe.
The long-term intention is be for a fully integrated approach to the training ground that includes men’s team, women’s team and academy.’
She led Man Utd to a fourth-place finish in their second season of the Women’s Super League this campaign, finishing just short of a Champions League spot.
“It has been an honour to lead the women’s team at this great club and this has been an incredibly tough decision,” Stoney said in a statement.
“Having come on board to start the team from scratch, then winning the Women’s Championship in our first season, we have now successfully established the team as a force in the Women’s Super League.
“I have loved leading this group and I am proud of what we have achieved together. However, after a difficult season with disruption caused by the pandemic, I now feel the time is right to take some time away and for someone else to come in and lead the team on the next stage of its journey.
“I want to thank the club, all of the fantastic staff, the fans, and most of all the players, for the incredible experience we have shared over the past three years.”
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who is also set to step away in the coming months, hailed Stoney’s impact on the club for her role in establishing Man Utd as a legitimate contender in the WSL.
“Casey has been a driving force behind the success of our Women’s team since she joined the club in 2018,” Woodward said. “She has been an inspiration to her players and staff, to everyone at the club, and to the fans.
“Everyone at Manchester United thanks her for her unstinting hard work and dedication and pays tribute to her achievements. She will always be part of the Manchester United family.”
The club confirmed that it is currently in the process of searching for a new head coach with an appointment to come “in due course”.
“Manchester United is completely committed to its Women’s team and to building on the legacy of Casey’s achievements as we move forwards,” said Football Director John Murtough. “With the recent historic first game at Old Trafford and the impact the team has made in the Women’s Super League, the future is bright.
“While we will be sad to see Casey leave, the team and the operation will continue to go from strength to strength.”
Man Utd remain in contention to win the FA Cup and will play Leicester City on Sunday in their fifth-round match.