Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has admitted that he is following Chris Wilder and Sheffield United. Sheffield United, who currently sit fifth in the table and have a realistic chance of making it to the champions league since Manchester City is banned for two years from Europe.
Jurgen Klopp said “I didn’t know Chris Wilder before we played them. But now I follow Sheffield United not only when we play them. I follow them for different reasons. Of course, it’s an incredible job.”
The current LMA manager of the year has many admirers across the league as Pep Guardiola said earlier this season that he could learn from Wilder after Manchester City played the Blades.
Chris Wilder has admitted that it will be difficult to keep all of his star players post this season as their ambitions may outgrow the club.
Chris Wilder said “We want to keep hold our best players. The likes of Fleck, Egan, Lundstram and others. But we understand as well that, financially, we have a ceiling. That ceiling won’t be as big as other clubs in the Premier League. Our ambitious players might want to go and play for these big clubs. If players want to move, then negotiations start. We won’t hold them against their will but obviously it then becomes a case of ‘what’s the best price we can get. At times they might be doubling and trebling salaries and at the moment, unfortunately, we aren’t in that ball-park yet.”
The Blades have offered new longer-term deals to John Lundstran, John Fleck and Jon Egan while Enda Stevens is also likely to be offered better terms on his current deal.
Chris Wilder has also revealed that despite breaking their transfer record for the second time in six months, the Blades will be very careful in their transfer dealings to avoid going the Portsmouth and his former clubs Halifax and Northampton Town way, clubs which went into administration or folded due to financial reasons.
Chris Wilder said “It’s always done sensibly so as not to put us in a difficult position, I’ve been part of that before, not in terms of signing players but being involved in a club which went through it, and it shatters clubs. It’s a long road back and there’s no way we’d ever want to do that to this football club. Halifax had historical debt when they were in the Football League and an overspend in the old Fourth Division, signing players for big money, It was ridiculous. Travelling on a Chelsea coach and overnight stops. It was ridiculous what went off. Northampton was a different situation, a land deal that went wrong from the former chairman. I’m not being critical but when Portsmouth won the FA Cup and they were in Europe with 10, 11 players on over 100 grand a week but they’re only getting 18,000 in the ground and there’s no hospitality to speak of and no other revenue streams, everybody knew it was going to go one way.”
Sheffield United spent £20 million on Oli McBurnie in the summer and broke their transfer record once again to buy Sander Berge for £22 million in the January transfer window.
Sheffield United’s current owner, HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has taken sole responsibility for financing the purchase of various properties, held by former co-owner Kevin McCabe, as ordered by a High Court judge during the battle for control of the Premier League club. Steve Bettis, United’s chief executive, confirmed the Saudi Arabian and his advisors are in charge of funding a deal which would see the Steelphalt Academy training complex, a development centre at Crookes and Bramall Lane getting transferred to the owner.
Steve Bettis said “The deal is that it gets done by the summer, It’s paid for by the club but ultimately Prince Abdullah owns the club and what money’s required to cover that, if needed, will come from him. Ultimately every penny and how it’s utilised is down to him but I think you can see from how he’s gone about his business and supported us so far, I can’t have any complaints.”
The fall out started between the current owner and Kevin McCabe, the former owner of the club started last year and the court ruled in favour of the current owner that all the assets must be transferred to him by July 2020.