Chris Wilder has insisted he wants to continue as Sheffield United manager but warned he is prepared to walk away from “my football club” if boardroom unrest continues to hamper his work.
Speaking after a 1-0 defeat by Preston North End ended United’s play-off hopes, the 50-year-old admitted difficulties between co-owners HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Kevin McCabe are threatening to make his position untenable.
Emphasising his decision to shine a spotlight on the issue is not motivated by money - “I’ve worked without it before” - Wilder, a lifelong United supporter, instead revealed their battle for sole control has made it impossible to devise any sort of strategy for next season.
“One hundred per cent I want to stay,” he told The Star. “One hundred per cent. But like anybody else, you’ve always got a decision if you don’t agree with what’s going on above you.
“Nobody has got a gun to my head to manage this football club. I’ve had it before when I’ve been at a football club and didn’t enjoy it. Where I thought ‘what am I doing here?’ I won’t make that mistake again.
“I stayed when I had a chance to get out. I won’t make that mistake again.”
Wilder, who left his former club Oxford after a series of problems behind the scenes, added: “It just needs to be sorted. You can’t have two owners where what’s going off is going off. It isn’t about money. I’ve worked without money.
“If someone comes in and puts the prices up to ridiculous amounts, the boxes and the season tickets, then says we can pay players £40,000 a week and the club ends up in a perilous position, I won’t do that.
“I just need to know where we are going. Is one taking over? Are they working together? What is the expectation? What do you want to achieve? I just want to know that.”
Prince Abdullah, who acquired a 50 per cent stake in United five years ago, launched his takeover attempt “in response” to a process instigated by one of McCabe’s companies according to an official club statement earlier this term.
Although Wilder conceded his words were unlikely to do down well with United’s hierarchy, he said: “I don’t think it’s my job to tell them what to do. It’s my job to tell the supporters where we are at because I’m the figurehead.
“I need to tell them and if that gets me into trouble then whatever. I can’t go into the pub and have a pint with my pals and pretend otherwise. I’m not giving trade secrets away. I’m not daft. But everybody is asking the same questions.”
“I don’t want away. That’s the furthest thing from the truth. But I’m the voice aren’t I. I can’t say everything is rosy, it’s brilliant and I’m enjoying this because it isn’t.”