SHEFFIELD UNITED: Blades take short-term pain for long-term gain

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SHEFFIELD United’s efforts to comply with Salary Cost Management Protocol should be rewarded when the new measure is rolled out across English football, John Stephenson has claimed.

Stephenson, Bramall Lane’s head of football operations, acknowledged the scheme, which Championship clubs are now working towards, complicates manoeuvres in the transfer market.

But he told The Star: “SCMP makes the academy even more important to what we are trying to do and to the future of our football club. That’s because it takes away the silver bullet of having a ‘Sugar Daddy’ and means you have to try and progress organically, which is exactly what we are trying to do.

“The Football League, as an organisation, have worked hard to ensure all loopholes are closed and will continue to do so. As a club, we’ve worked very hard to comply and have always been transparent.

“In the future, given the facilities, infrastructure and potential we have here on and off the pitch, the rewards for that will become apparent.”

SCMP, which has already been adopted by 48 Football League members, pegs expenditure on player wages to a portion of total turnover.

United, who are second in League One, must adhere to a 65 per cent threshold while teams in the second tier are working towards a similar mark.

That’s even though sanctions for a breach will not be imposed until 2014/15.

Chelsea and Wigan Athletic are among those reportedly lobbing their Premier League counterparts to adopt a similar plan at some point in future.

Arsenal’s Wenger has been a vociferous supporter of such a move.

Stephenson, speaking before SCMP thwarted United’s bid to sign reinforcements during the emergency loan window, added: “I know I sound as if I’m echoing Mr Wenger when I say this but if we achieve our objective of getting back there and the FAPL does bring this in then the work we are doing now would leave Sheffield United in a very good position.”