'At least three transfer windows' to fix recruitment mistakes, says Sheffield United co-chairman Jim Phipps

Jim Phipps (right) with Kevin McCabe
Jim Phipps (right) with Kevin McCabe
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Sheffield United co-chairman Jim Phipps has moved to explain to fans why there were no further additions to the Blades squad by transfer deadline day.

Many supporters have been left frustrated by the lack of new players, with attempts to bring number one target Dan Burn, from Fulham apparently failing, at this stage at least.

Dan Burn (right) was a target for Sheffield United

Dan Burn (right) was a target for Sheffield United

However, writing on a personal social media account, Phipps has outlined the reasoning as to why the team hasn't been strengthened, stating that not losing key players should be seen as a positive and that it will take at least three transfer windows, including the one just closed, 'to complete the work of addressing past recruiting errors and excesses.'

Phipps also pointed to the size of the current squad, expressing the need for 'right-sizing' and that the club made the decision that it would be better "to avoid both panic buying and purchasing for cosmetic reasons."

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In an attempt to give an insight into past recruitment at Bramall Lane, Phipps wrote: "By my reckoning, counting JTW (January Transfer Window) 2016, it will take at least three transfer windows to complete the work of addressing past recruiting errors and excesses.

"The key to getting this right going forward is the work we are doing now to reclaim, to strengthen and to implement club-owned recruiting processes and procedures. This imperative is and will remain a major focus. The resolve shown during JTW 2016 in not making panic or cosmetic acquisitions is an early victory in this process. More progress on this front should begin to evidence itself in the close season and transfers windows thereafter."

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On the size of the squad, Phipps added: "Having a squad that is too big is unhealthy. During JTW 2016, we have begun the process of right-sizing the squad. More work on this front will need to wait until the close season, when contracts expire."

He also explained why there were no new players added, writing: "We have not brought in new players during JTW 2016, apart from extending inward loans to the end of the season. This is not for lack of resources, but rather because we did not get any of the footballers with respect to whom the football professionals had: (1) conducted due diligence; and (2) determined would make an improvement. It might have been tempting in the final hours of JTW 2016 to do something just for the sake of being seen to do something. The better choice, however, was to avoid both panic buying and purchasing for cosmetic reasons."

To go along with the post, by way of attempting to gauge opinion amongst United fans, Phipps conducted a poll, with the question: "Which response most closely sums (up) your view of our January Transfer Window 2016?"

At the time of writing, over 1800 votes had been cast with 75% clicking "Not OK - we didn't get anyone in." There were 5% in agreement with "OK - we didn't panic buy", while 4% went with "OK - we shrunk (numbers); kept top talent. "All of the above" was on 16%