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Sheffield United: Big earners set for tough choices

SHEFFIELD UNITED V YEOVIL   3.513
Pic : Martyn Harrison
Dave Kitson -  Sheffield United  &  Sam Foley- yeovil

� BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

SHEFFIELD UNITED V YEOVIL 3.513 Pic : Martyn Harrison Dave Kitson - Sheffield United & Sam Foley- yeovil � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Several of Sheffield United’s highest-earners could be asked to take pay cuts in order to remain at the League One club.

The move, which chief executive Julian Winter first alluded to earlier this month, forms part of its response to its defeat in last season’s play-off semi-finals.

Although United’s new manager will be tasked with revamping United’s squad ahead of the forthcoming campaign - interviews with potential appointments are set to continue next week - Bramall Lane’s hierarchy accept that savings must be made as they prepare for a third year in English football’s third tier.

Those vying to succeed Danny Wilson, who was relieved of his duties 39 days ago, have been informed they must employ a scaled-down backroom staff should they be handed the role.

Winter, speaking after returning to South Yorkshire for a second spell, told the region’s media that “the ground is already being prepared,” for Wilson’s replacement.

Asked whether United will enter into talks with those players whose deals are about the expire, he replied: “There are those who are out of contract and that will be an easy answer.

“Then, the rest of the decisions are up to him (the manager) but we could negotiate with some players on terms more favourable to us.”

Winter, previously of Watford and Grimsby Town, also described the “benefactor model” as being “broken” during his official unveiling on May 9.

A five per cent reduction in the Salary Cost Management Protocol threshold, which pegs wage levels to turnover, has forced United to explore various ways of trimming their budget since being beaten over two legs by Yeovil Town.

The Somerset club, who meet Brentford in tomorrow’s divisional showpiece at Wembley, are believed to spend just over £1m per annum on first team operations.

Gary Johnson’s side finished two points and one place above United in the final table before progressing 2-1 on aggregate.

Yeovil’s chairman revealed yesterday that beating United had enabled them to stave-off the threat of “restructuring” behind the scenes.

Winter said: “It’s not always the team with the biggest budget that succeeds, as we know only too well.”

 

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