Sheffield United: Chris Wilder points an accusing finger at some of The Blades’ Championship rivals
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has claimed some clubs are prepared to break the rules in order to claw themselves out of the Championship.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow's game against Brentford, which could see his side climb to second in the table, Wilder insisted he has "no sympathy" for those who find themselves in trouble after failing to respect the competition's financial guidelines.
And, to hammer home his point, the 51-year-old called for the EFL and other governing bodies to impose stricter punishments on teams who deliberately gamble with their own futures by embarking upon unsustainable spending sprees.
"Everything goes back to the gambles that teams have, they are prepared to put everything on the line," Wilder said.
"Clubs are prepared to break rules and break the FFP (Financial Fair Play) to get to the Premier League.
"Rules are there to be abided by but they get broken and I do shake my head at times, as to why those rules are put in there in the first place because they constantly get broken.
"There are no sanctions for breaking them. No sympathy from me on that. It goes back to the attitude of teams desperate to get back into the PL.
"It will be the same this year. Those that don’t go up or make it will be in the same situation as others have found themselves in recently."
Seven of the division's leading 10 clubs, including third-placed United, are not in receipt of a parachute payment. Like Brentford, whose statistics based approach has unearthed a series of bargains in the transfer market, Wilder has adopted a sustainable strategy based upon delivering value for money. It something he last night insisted has eased the pressure on United as they chase top-flight football.
"Absolutely, 100 per cent, it is not a do or die situation for us," Wilder said. "If you look at our accounts and our financial dealings, in terms of what we pay our players, there will not be a situation here if we do not go up that will see everyone having to be sold and not being able to sign anyone.
"There is this desperation to get up. But owners have the ability to take their club in whatever direction they want. It is their decision and their option."
"Everyone is set up differently," he added. "We do it different to Rotherham and different to other clubs. That is what the job is. It is the right of those owners to go about things how they do. From a manager’s perspective, we all pick and choose where we want to go - just as the players do. From my point of view, this club was going to do it in a sensible way. And that suits the way I work."
With only four points separating United from leaders Norwich City, the race for the Premier League threatens to go right down to the wire.
With 10 games remaining, Wilder insisted Brentford are also capable of making a late run into the play-offs despite travelling to South Yorkshire 13th in the table.
"Everyone has said there is no Wolves, like last year," he said. "But Norwich are making a very good fist of it. Our rivals up the road (Leeds) have had an outstanding season so far.
"Then, there are loads of other clubs with something to play for. We are hanging on in there and want to take it as far as we can.
"We are enjoying it and doing a good job. It is ultra competitive, as Brentford illustrate. They will look at the last play-off spot and think, ‘If we win seven or eight out of ten, we might get in there.'"