`

Sheffield United is a club in "great spirit" despite Blades' ongoing ownership battle says Kevin McCabe

0
Have your say

Sheffield United co-owner Kevin McCabe has predicted another "great season" in store for the Blades, after insisting that the club is in "good spirit" despite the ongoing battle in the Bramall Lane boardroom.

United, who finished 10th in the Championship last season after remaining in play-off contention until the penultimate game, begin their 2018/19 campaign this weekend when they face relegated Swansea City at Bramall Lane.

Chris Wilder and Kevin McCabe

Chris Wilder and Kevin McCabe

The summer has been somewhat overshadowed, though, by events off the pitch, with McCabe and co-owner Prince Abdullah locked in a dispute over who should assume sole control of United.

A preliminary High Court hearing laid bare the depth of the ill-feeling between the two parties, who both have a 50 per cent stake in United's parent company Blades Leisure Limited.

But the two owners did put their differences aside to improve manager Chris Wilder's transfer budget this season, and Wilder subsequently broke the club's transfer record to sign John Egan from Brentford before launching a bid for Ipswich Town's Martyn Waghorn that would have smashed it once more.

And McCabe - speaking at a meeting of shareholders in the company he controls, Sheffield United Limited - insisted: "The club itself is in good spirit.

"We didn't make the play-offs last season but the quality of football and the great games we played in, as well as the misfortune in some games that could have given us a few more points to make the play offs... I think we're all so, so satisfied.

"Attendances are averaging around 27,000, which is great, and we had almost 19,000 at the friendly with Inter Milan, which was quite a game.

"To get 19,000 for a friendly takes some beating at any level of English football, and it's very rare that a club of the stature of Inter visit Bramall Lane.

"They were hugely impressed by the club, by its facilities and organisation. And we work hard to ensure those facilities and that organisation is in place to get the club and its teams, including the academy and ladies sides, ready for the coming season."

Luke Freeman, the QPR attacker, became the latest player to be linked with United yesterday while another target, Liverpool's Ben Woodburn, is attracting the interest of Aston Villa after their transfer embargo was lifted by the EFL.

"The partners have worked together to ensure that the demands required to help fund first-team football are in place," McCabe added, "and to suit the requirements of first-team management for what should again be a great season that lies ahead."