Sheffield United notebook and financial picture revealed, transfer payments and Brewster bonus.

Going behind the scenes at Bramall Lane this week with a look into the club’s financial picture following the much-publicised issues of last season

Sheffield United’s promotion to the Premier League provided the club with an opportunity to address the cashflow concerns from last season that not only saw them unable to pay bills but they were also hit with a transfer embargo after failing to keep up with repayments.

Those in the corridors of power have opted for a different approach to their last stint in the top flight when they carried the financial pressure of that for the two seasons that followed. The approach this time has been one of caution, with Premier League money being used to clean the house and start again, with transfer emphasis in the summer edging more on the side of business than football.

That is why talk of Paul Heckingbottom’s job being under threat is simply ludicrous given the message behind the approach. The intention was all about making sure Sheffield United are in a position to prosper from promotion, regardless of their league position and what division they find themselves in next season.

Unlike last time when the Blades went down with financial pressures weighing heavily on their shoulders, the board have indeed made sure this time round they will be in a much better position to either kick on if they secure another season in the top flight, or react accordingly should they suffer relegation.

Not only have all outstanding debts been addressed, but there is only one transfer payment still hanging over them pre-promotion, but that is only outstanding owing to the fact it is not due. And, unlike some clubs that would need a firesale if they were to go down to cope with the loss of income, United would only need to sell one player.

As Stephen Bettis explains, the club is now in a much better place financially and is prepared for all eventualities. He said: “We are fine. If we don’t get relegated there are no issues at all. If we get relegated under the current ownership we would need to sell one player.

“Everything is fully paid up, there is just one transfer where money is owed but that is not due yet. Everything has been factored in [for relegation]. Selling one solves the problem.”

Also factored in financially has been the transfer deals carried out this summer. Ten players arrived and all those that commanded a transfer fee will be carried over to next year. It’s standard practice, especially in the Premier League, where the financial model is ‘broken’. However, United also have money coming in the other way from Marseille and Burnley for Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge respectively.

Sheffield United CEO Stephen Bettis and owner Prince Abdullah. Bottom: Rhian BrewsterBettis added: “Every deal is carried over. No deal is payable in 12 months. I don’t think anyone does that. I am talking about big clubs as well, like Marseille when they were doing a deal with us. The model is broken. We all know that unless you have a really wealthy owner pumping the money in. That’s the reality of it.”

With United benefiting off the pitch and getting their house in order as a result of this latest Premier League promotion, it’s important that everyone now sticks together, remembers the plan and does not self-implode like last time.

Brewster personality

It was great to see Rhian Brewster back on the teamsheet on Saturday. It’s been a really tough past 11 months for the striker following his second major hamstring injury. Ask any player who is out for that length of time, it can be a really lonely place on the sidelines watching in, unable to kick a ball in anger.

However, Brewster remains one of the bright lights behind the scenes at Bramall Lane and is a much-loved and popular member of the dressing room. Always smiling, it’s to his credit he has been able to remain upbeat. You could see his energy coming through at the London Stadium. When Oli McBurnie was through on goal shortly before half-time Brewster, who was warming up down the left, was on the pitch ready to celebrate had the effort gone in.

He could then be seen pulling McBurnie just before the second half, spotting something and having a word in McBurnie’s ear. McBurnie responded with a pat on the back in acknowledgement. Heckingbottom was not only delighted to get him on the pitch as another option for himself but was also delighted for the player because of his warm character.

He will feel like a new signing in these coming weeks, especially if Heckingbottom and Jack Lester can get him back to the levels he showed either side of his setbacks.

“He is [like a new signing],” he explained. “There were a couple of little flashes where he got in and combinations which we have been seeing. If a ball drops to him you’d back him and he has been showing that in training.

“We will be using him definitely. We know we have to be patient and he could be one of those players who helps us pick up points with his cameos as we keep improving his ability to play. We are delighted for him and delighted as a team to have him back. To have him fit and available is great, more so for Rhian.

“Really pleased to see him on the teamsheet and he has grown up a lot in the three years I have known him. He has got personality. With us playing for so long in games now we want those options from the bench, we need these players coming on to have a big impact for us, whether in front and we need the energy to see the game out or whether we are behind and we need to make changes.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.