Sheffield United: Former manager's number two leaves Bramall Lane

Alan Knill has left Sheffield United, The Star understands.

By James Shield
Sunday, 25th July 2021, 12:19 pm

Sources at Bramall Lane last night reported Knill, who served as Chris Wilder’s assistant until the 53-year-old vacated his position as manager in March, agreed a severance package with the Championship club’s board of directors last week.

The former Wales international was offered an administrative position following Wilder’s departure, but turned the role down. He has been reporting for work as usual since and attended all of United’s matches towards the end of last season, when caretaker Paul Heckingbottom fought in vain to preserve their Premier League status.

With Slavisa Jokanovic taking charge earlier this month, United also unveiled a number of other changes to their backroom staff soon after the Serb’s appointment. Chema Sanz, previously technical director at Valencia, was confirmed as first team coach and will effectively serve as Jokanovic’s number two. Marco Cesarini is now overseeing the first team’s medical affairs while another of Jokanovic’s former colleagues - Rafa Cristobal - became head of performance.

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Alan Knill (R) with former Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Together with Wilder, Matt Prestridge and goalkeeper coach Darren Ward, who also left in the spring, Knill was responsible for helping create one of the most successful periods in United’s history.

Having just finished mid-table in League One when Wilder, Knill and Prestridge first arrived, United won the third tier at a canter before securing promotion from the second two years later.

They came ninth during their first season back in the top-flight, and were seemingly destined to secure a place in Europe until the Covid-19 pandemic robbed them of momentum.