Chris Wilder future shrouded in confusion amid Sheff Utd sack speculation


The future of Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder remains unclear amid widespread reports he is set to leave the role.

The PA news agency understands an announcement to confirm the 53-year-old had been relieved of his duties was planned for Friday afternoon. However, there has been no public comment from the club as yet.

The Blades cancelled their Friday morning press conference with a player amid reports Wilder was set to be sacked, with the boss scheduled to face journalists via Zoom in the afternoon.

That media duty, scheduled for 1.30pm, was then rescheduled to 5pm before the club announced shortly before it was due to take place that it had been cancelled “due to circumstances beyond our control”.

Tensions between Wilder and club owner Abdullah Bin Musa’ad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud have heightened recently. Wilder last week stated he did not know if he would still be in charge next season, despite confirming he wanted to remain at Bramall Lane if the board and owners “stick to the plan”.

Some reports suggest there have been clashes with ownership over plans to appoint a director of football, with Prince Abdullah feeling Wilder’s recruitment record has been below par.

Tom Huddlestone discusses Chris Wilder departure from Sheffield United

The timing of Chris Wilder's Sheffield United departure is 'strange', Tom Huddlestone and Rachel Yankey tell The Football Show.

However, Wilder is viewed as one of the most successful managers in the club’s history. His time in charge will be remembered fondly by Blades supporters for his achievements, despite this season’s disappointment.

After taking charge of his boyhood club in the summer of 2016, Wilder got the Blades promoted as League One champions at the first time of asking. He then won promotion from the Championship two seasons later, ending the club’s 12-year absence from the top flight.

Sheff Utd struggling in Prem

The Blades were a revelation last season on their return to the Premier League, finishing ninth and maintaining a challenge for European football for the first time in the club’s history right up until the final week of the campaign.

But Wilder’s team have endured a miserable run this season, suffering the ignominy of making the worst ever start to a top-flight season in the history of English football.

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The Blades have lost 22 of their 28 Premier League matches and are bottom of the table with only 14 points – 12 points from safety with 10 matches remaining.

However, they have reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they travel to Chelsea next weekend.

READ MORESmith urges Sheffield Utd to go with manager who ‘knows the club’