Sheffield United: ‘I decide who this club signs, no one else’

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Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has confirmed he retains the final say on the club’s transfer dealings despite being handed an improved recruitment budget.

Co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud agreed to increase the amount at Wilder’s disposal before extending his contract last month.

Revealing the offer came without caveats, the 50-year-old insisted he would rather resign than accept any meddling from above.

“I will never work for a football club that interferes in my work,” Wilder said. “I have got an obligation to work with the owners, the chief executive, and do it a respectful and honourable fashion.

“But I am here to be a manager of the football club. I have to run things past them, of course I do. But as soon as people start telling me who to pick, and who to sign, I am down the road. Everybody knows that.”

Wilder publicly thanked McCabe and Prince Abdullah for their backing after the two men put their differences aside to address his concerns about United’s future direction earlier this summer. Prince Abdullah is battling to take sole control at Bramall Lane after making an offer to purchase McCabe’s shareholding. Although talks remain on-going, some Middle Eastern analysts have suggested the Saudi Arabian’s takeover attempt could be linked to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 agenda. The strategy, unveiled by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, aims to diversify its economy and includes a plan to increase the country’s influence in world football. To ensure the situation does not negatively affect Wilder’s work, The Star understands United will appoint an ‘honest broker’ to maintain his line of communication with the board.

Several candidates, including a former chief executive, a believed to be in line for role.

“We are looking to add quality additions to a talented group of players,” Wilder said. “We want to move forward and hopefully improve our league position.”