Manager Chris Wilder has promised never to put Sheffield United at financial risk despite admitting it was important the club showed greater ambition in the transfer market.
Co-owners HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Kevin McCabe increased the resources at Wilder’s disposal before awarding him a new contract earlier this week.
Although the 50-year-old welcomed the decision - “I want to thank them both for doing that” - he vowed not to expose United to the same dangers as the “nine or 10” teams he believes are “close” to breaking the Championship’s ‘Profit and Sustainability’ regulations.
“We don’t want to just survive, we want to move forward,” Wilder said. “There’s always a situation where the owners say ‘this is what we can afford to give, and that’s the maximum’, which I can appreciate. It’s not an open chequebook, but one where we can improve the group. That’s all I ever wanted, to move us forward.”
Having constructed a play-off challenging squad on a bottom six budget, details about how much United plan to spend this summer remain a closely guarded secret. But it is expected to be enough to allow Wilder to pursue the four quality additions he believes should ensure they are competitive again last term. Together with his assistant Alan Knill and head of recruitment Paul Mitchell, Wilder could view the Premier League loan market as a viable source of fresh talent given the eye-watering sums being lavished on players by some second-tier clubs.
“I am hugely ambitious - so are the players - but I am hugely ambitious at this club,” he said. “I have worked hard in my career to get in this position, and we want to drive the club forward and be involved in the top part of the division.”