Sheffield United: ‘We have no intention of making up the Premier League numbers’

They are about to enter a world where clubs spend can spend more £50m to sign a player and then routinely pay them more than 90 times the national average.

Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 5:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 9:46 pm
Sheffield United are heading for the Premier League: James Wilson/Sportimage

But Steve Bettis, Sheffield United's chief executive officer, has stressed Chris Wilder's team has no intention of being content with making up the numbers in the Premier League next term.

United were promoted to the top-flight for the first time in 12 years on Sunday when, following their victory over Ipswich Town 24 hours earlier, third-placed Leeds were held to a draw by Aston Villa in the penultimate match of the West Yorkshire club's season.

Despite acknowledging the challenges competing at the highest level will present, Bettis, whose presence has been described as "key" by Wilder in recent weeks, said: "We're definitely looking to be in the league for a long time and we've got no intention of going backwards. Only forwards."

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Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Bettis is known to have struck up an excellent relationship with Wilder during United's League One title winning campaign two years ago, before taking a back seat to concentrate on his business interests overseas. Having returned a front-line role in July, Bettis has again worked closely with United's manager this term. Indeed, with co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud both vying for sole-control, Wilder views Bettis as a crucial bridge between the bootroom and Bramall Lane's hierarchy.

"I signed a new contract and certain things had to happen," Wilder said, reflecting upon events behind the scenes last summer. "Off the pitch, Steve Bettis becoming the chief exec was a key one for me. That relationship between me and him and the two owners was key."