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.
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.
What was said?
“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.