Sheffield United: Nigel endorses Brannigan’s appointment

Mal Brannigan, Sheffield United's new managing director � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Mal Brannigan, Sheffield United's new managing director � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Nigel Clough has welcomed Sheffield United’s decision to appointment Malachy Brannigan as managing director, writes James Shield.

Clough, whose team return to League One action at Notts County on Saturday, worked with the 47-year-old at his former club Derby County and last night described their relationship as being “very important” to Bramall Lane’s future success.

“In the old days people always spoke about the ‘manager and the chairman’ whereas now with ownership structures changing to some degree, it is more the ‘manager and chief executive or managing director’ that is key,” Clough told The Star. “Having someone in place there who knows the business and has his capabilities is excellent for myself as manager because it means I can go about my work without too much worry.

“Mal has a breadth of knowledge and the work he did there (Derby) reflects that. Together with Tom Glick, who is now at Manchester City, and Tim Hinchey who went ot Colorado Rapids, he helped steer the club through a very difficult period. Look at their financial position now.”

Brannigan, who has also held senior posts at Everton, Hull City and Coventry City, assisted Clough on numerous matters, including transfer dealings, at the iPro Stadium.

“We’ll talk on a daily basis,” Clough added. “That’s important, together with ensuring the right structures behind the scenes are in place.

“I didn’t actually realise that Mal was interested in the post but then someone came to me and said ‘I think you know one of the guys who are in for this’ and I was delighted when I found out it was him.”

“It’s always key that everyone within a football club is on the same page,” Clough added. “There are a few things here that, everyone agrees, need refining but those can be taken care of in time.”

Clough has made no secret of his desire to tweak the options at his disposal this month but, with United heading to Meadow Lane having been beaten only once in 10 outings, dismissed the need to make panic purchases.

“It’s still very early days in the window,” he said. “We’ll need two or three when the fixtures start to pile-up but there’s no great urgency and we prefer to do things right by looking at lots of different factors.

“Plus, there’s no emergency because the lads who have done well need rewarding for that. If someone has done well and then we go straight out and replace them than that can be pretty demoralising for them.

“I don’t think we’d get much out of them for the rest of the season would we?”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1