DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, has endorsed a decision by his club’s board of directors to implement sweeping financial reforms at Bramall Lane.
Following nearly five weeks of negotiation, last season’s losing play-off finalists passed their budget for the new League One campaign earlier this month ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer in the transfer market.
With defeat condemning United to another year of minimal television revenues, calculations were made even more complex by the governing body’s decision to adopt UEFA’s Financial Fair Play model - including the Salary Cost Management Protocol system - which pegs spending to a portion of total turnover.
But despite being handed the task of fashioning an improved team on diminishing resources, Wilson said: “In an ideal world this squad would stick together but that’s not being honest because we’ve got budgets.
“Whatever happened, there were lots of areas we had to address this season anyway.”
United’s actions will be interpreted by some as a direct response to their loss at Wembley. In truth, they mark the start of a process which would have begun 12 months ago but for the results Wilson delivered soon after taking charge.
Appointed in the immediate aftermath of the club’s relegation from the Championship, United have won 57 per cent of their matches under his tutelage and scored 109 goals.
With a skewed payroll and numerous high-earners whose wages have previously scared-off potential buyers, the blood-letting at United could be painful with several long-serving names destined to depart. But, given football’s turbulent climate, ultimately beneficial. “We’ve seen what has happened elsewhere when issues aren’t tackled,” Wilson, speaking earlier this year, said. “It’s the right thing to do to make sure that our house is in order.”
With Lee Williamson, Kevin McDonald and Chris Porter expected to announce whether they will accept new contract offers shortly, Wilson should soon be in a position to begin his recruitment drive.
Targets have been identified - including Stuart Beavon and Ben Parker - while players such as Nick Montgomery and Stephen Quinn interest rival clubs.