THE chairman of Watford’s Supporters’ Trust last night told Sheffield United “Our loss is your gain” following Julian Winter’s appointment as the South Yorkshire club’s chief executive.
Winter has been handed the unenviable task of re-aligning Bramall Lane’s finances without hampering success on the pitch following United’s encouraging start to the new League One campaign.
The 46-year-old steered Watford through one of the most turbulent periods in their recent history and Graham Sterry, who heads the WST board, said: “From our personal experience, I certainly think Julian is going to prove an excellent asset for Sheffield United.
“Back then, at Watford, the club had overspent badly in an effort to get back into the Premier League and, as everyone knows, failed to do that.
“We weren’t the first to do that and we definitely won’t be the last.
“But Julian took the lead and not only kept us out of administration but also played a big role in helping to make sure that we stayed up too.
“I definitely think our loss is going to be Sheffield United’s gain.”
Winter, a former professional footballer, moved to Vicarage Road in December 2008.
Twelve months later he successfully averted the threat of administration while ensuring manager Brendan Rodgers retained the tools required to preserve Watford’s Championship status.
Winter, who holds a degree in recreation management, parted company with the Hertfordshire club in June.
Sterry added: “One of the things that Julian will be remembered for here at Watford was the fact he was always very approachable and kept the trust and the fans informed, wherever possible, about what was going on behind the scenes.
“That was very much appreciated and still is.
“At that time we actually had regular meetings and a weekly telephone call with him.
“Whenever he couldn’t make the call, he always arranged a different time.
“Julian was always honest and never told us anything that turned out to be untrue.”