Boyhood Blade Andrew Birks believes Sheffield United can make their mark on the Championship next season after being officially confirmed as Bramall Lane’s new chief operating officer yesterday.
The 39-year-old, whose family hails from Nether Edge, comes on board as existing chief executive Stephen Bettis concentrates on business interests in Los Angeles.
Birks met the media for the first time at Bramall Lane yesterday and revealed: “I’ve been a Blades fan all my life - I went to my first game at four years old, I was a mascot at seven and undertook work experience at United when I was 15.
“So it’s as good as it gets. I actually renewed my season ticket for next season! My dad’s had one for 35 years and I’ve had one for 25, in the John Street and South Stands.
“It’s a different seat now, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Birks’ remit concerns off-field revenue streams which, in the era of Financial Fair Play, directly influence manager Chris Wilder’s playing budget.
“We have so many parts to the club,” Birks added.
“There’s the hotel, corporate hospitality, a security company, a business centre and events like the boxing [when 27,000 fans watched Kell Brook fight Errol Spence Jr. last month] and that contributes to supporting Chris and his team.
“What they did last season was remarkable, and we’ve got real momentum going into the Championship.
“The potential of the club has always been there, and it’s up to us to maximise it. I’m excited to get started now.”
Kevin McCabe, United’s co-owner, added: Co-owner Kevin McCabe said: “We welcome Andrew to the Blades family where he will play a key role in leading our off-the field team at Bramall Lane.
“Our Championship status provides additional opportunities which Andrew, with his background will help oversee.”