Alan Biggs: ‘Job for life’ vow at Sheffield United for Nigel Clough is sincere

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Some years ago, when Sheffield was not so shamefully neglected by the national press as all bar the Premier League is now, the quest for news was hot.

It created some distortions and there were those times when you would seek, and get, “job for life” pledges from unwary chairmen.

Of course, there can be no such guarantees to managers in this of all industries.

So Sheffield United’s unreserved faith in their future under Nigel Clough, as co-chairman Jim Phipps first indicated on these pages soon after the appointment, is easier to say than carry out.

Public opinion and the imperative for progress are huge forces that can become unassailable.

And we’ve already seen this season the ripples a couple of defeats can cause.

But what counts here is the intention, the resolve and whether it is genuine. I think it is. All the more so after the managerial upheavals over which a good owner in Kevin McCabe has been contrite.

It smacks of sincerity, then, to hear Phipps talk of learning with and from the McCabe family. “We don’t want to make the same mistakes again,” he has said. “There’s the value of the education they’ve got.”

Prince Abdullah’s aide has become the central figure of boardroom engagement for supporters. I’m looking forward to his guest appearance on my Sheffield Live! TV programme tonight (Thursday)