Chris Wilder has been speaking about the controversial ‘Project Big Picture’ and says ‘what would Bill Shankly and Sir Alex Ferguson be thinking right now?’ The Sheffield United manager held his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s match at home to Fulham and gave his opinion for the first time on the perceived ‘power grab’ by Liverpool and Manchester United, who want to change football in this country. The plans were unanimously rejected by all 20 clubs this week and Chris Wilder says given the many problems going on in the world right now, the timing of this ‘power grab’ is ‘poor’.
Chris Wilder said “It’s an incredibly difficult task to get 92 clubs on the same page. I don’t have the answers and you will look at your club from an individual point of view, but the timing of it is poor. I have loads of empathy and sympathy for clubs struggling without supporters, the majority of lower league clubs are supporters-led, they work at the club and all have a connection – to protect the game is huge. You mention the two clubs that their attitude and the supporters attitude to the power grab was quite interesting. This week has been quite explosive in terms of the things that have come out. Supporters are the biggest group of people who should be consulted. You look at the couple of clubs mentioned, the spirit of Shankly and the other one managed by Sir Alex, who is the most successful manager in English football in my opinion, and even though they are and were humble guys they had modern thinking and a penny for their thoughts right now? I am disappointed with the timing – it’s not great. I have spoken about looking after the unique situation – it’s not France or Spain, it’s not B teams, we are proud of our clubs. We have to protect and look after it – a lot of football people and the vast majority have seen through it for exactly what it is. There always has to be competition – Liverpool were in the Second Division when Shankly took over, Man City have been in the Third Division, Man United Second Division. You can’t take that away from the game and take the ambition and opportunity away from competition and it being a closed shop – people have seen right through it. Changes will happen, but they have to be for the benefit of the game as a whole and still have excitement at every level. It is unbelievably missed at this difficult time.”
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