Sheffield United: Chris Wilder delivers a message to co-owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah after leading The Blades to promotion
Chris Wilder has thanked Sheffield United's co-owners Kevin McCabe HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for putting their differences to one side and allowing him to concentrate on building a promotion winning squad after steering the club back into the Premier League.
Twelve months after the two men's power struggle threatened to drive him out of Bramall Lane, Wilder is now preparing to lead United into the top-flight for the first time since 2007 after guiding them to a second placed finish in the Championship.
Although McCabe and Prince Abdullah remain in dispute - a High Court judge is set to begin considering their rival takeover bids later this week - Wilder praised their willingness to focus on football rather than politics at the beginning of a campaign, saying: "Great credit to the owners for putting their differences aside and thinking first and foremost about the club.
"This time last season, when I walked off the pitch at Bristol City, I was in tears because I thought that was me done here. Obviously there were things that weren't right.
"We talked about what needed to happen. They moved to budget forward and we needed to. I'd like to thank Prince Abdullah and Kevin McCabe for looking at the bigger picture and thinking about the progression of the club."
United had just spent their fifth season in League One when Wilder was appointed in 2017. But they are now preparing to rub shoulders with the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea next term after winning 81 of their 151 matches since his arrival.
United entered their final match of the campaign - against Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium - already assured of promotion after moving five points ahead of third-placed Leeds following the penultimate round of games. They drew 2-2, with goals from Kieran Dowell and Enda Stevens securing a share of the spoils after Sam Vokes and Ryan Shawcross had twice fired City in front.
"It is not easy celebrating like we do," Wilder, whose players will be honoured at a civic reception tomorrow, said. "It is a tough gig. It was two years ago, when we gave it a good go for about six weeks.
"This will be a bit shorter, but so far it is more condensed and more intense. Still a couple more bits to do but we will enjoy those and why not?
"They fully deserve it. We all do. I feel we have been a breath of fresh air in how we have gone about our business in the division this year."
"I'm not having a go at other clubs and how they do it but we have worked hard on the training ground," Wilder added. "Recruitment has been key, which it always is. Plus the togetherness we have shown and the way we have played in attacking the division. I truly believe we deserved our success."