Manchester United turn to AI to gain competitive edge

Manchester United are set to expand their use of AI  (Getty Images)
Manchester United are set to expand their use of AI (Getty Images)

Manchester United are set to expand their use of artificial intelligence as they work in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University to try to improve performance.

The club will work together with the university’s Institute of Sport on a series of both long and short-term projects to support their men’s, women’s and academy teams.

Working with data gathered during games, AI will analyse where improvements might be made to aid the club’s coaching staff.

The programme is due to kick off in April, but the partnership pre-dates Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment into the club.

Sir Dave Brailsford, Ineos’s director of sport who has worked closely with Ratcliffe in cycling and with French club Nice, is conducting an audit of Manchester United’s football operations to assess where improvements might be made.

The Telegraph report that a separate PhD programme at the university will look at increasing prevention of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in women’s football.

“We are constantly striving to be at the forefront of innovation and advancement in football performance and this initiative will reinforce those efforts,” John Murtough, United’s football director, said.

“Working with the Institute of Sport will build on our excellent existing research and innovation teams in order to further enhance the performance and development support that we are able provide for our players.”

Manchester United’s men are seventh in the Premier League table, while the club’s women’s side are fourth with the WSL set to resume this weekend.

Ratcliffe’s investment, which will see the Ineos chairman take a minority stake in the club, is expected to be concluded on 13 February.