Sheffield United: Big summer awaits The Blades as Premier League status is confirmed

The sound of popping champagne corks was still reverberating around Bramall Lane when Chris Wilder, who less than an hour earlier had mastermined the win which eventually sealed Sheffield United's return to the Premier League, turned his attention to next season.

By James Shield
Sunday, 28 April, 2019, 18:12
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: Nick Potts/PA Wire

The scale of the challenge awaiting his club, which has not competed at top-flight level for the past 12 years, means there will be precious little time to celebrate before the serious business of preparing for next season begins in earnest.

Although there is work to be done on the pitch, where Wilder and his staff must identify the targets capable of embellishing an already talented squad, arguably the most important issues to address are behind the scenes where co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud are destined to do battle at the High Court next month after launching rival bids for sole control.

Speaking after his team's victory over Ipswich Town, which combined with Leeds' draw with Aston Villa guaranteed United a top two finish, Wilder insisted players, supporters and staff alike should "savour the moment."

But he acknowledged: "You have to enjoy the good days. And we have had a good day.

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"This is a big summer with the ownership. I do not want to go into it too much but it is big from that point of view."

Wilder is expected to plot a course of action, and draft his shopping list, following this weekend's visit to Stoke City which brings down the curtain on what has been a memorable campaign.

Acknowledging United have now set their sights on winning the title - they travel to Staffordshire three points behind leaders Norwich City but with a superior goal difference, Wilder added: "We have to get certain things right as a football club, going forward, in the Premier League. We need to go and enjoy it."