Sheffield United: New boss must deliver value for money

After much deliberation, Stuart McCall has elected to stay with Motherwell rather than join United
After much deliberation, Stuart McCall has elected to stay with Motherwell rather than join United
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Sheffield United’s next manager will not enjoy League One’s biggest budget next term as Bramall Lane’s hierarchy press ahead with their bid to become a sustainable business.

Julian Winter, United’s chief executive, outlined his determination to ensure the club spends within its means after returning to South Yorkshire earlier this month.

Combined with the need to reduce costs in order to guarantee continued compliance with new financial measures rolled-out across the competition last term, it means those candidates vying to replace Danny Wilson at the helm must demonstrate an eye for a bargain as well as talent in the transfer market.

Independent analysts have estimated that only two teams lavished more on their squads than United throughout the 2012/13 campaign. Nevertheless, Winter used his unveiling to insist that fiscal extravagance does not always guarantee results.

“We’ve benefited from the biggest budget and the second biggest budget before and not been promoted,” he said. “So we know it’s not always the biggest budget that counts.

“Can you be sustainable and succeed? I say ‘yes.’”

With Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) demanding that United shave five per cent off their wage bill before competition resumes in August - assuming revenues streams such as gate and sponsorship receipts remain stable - Wilson’s successor will be forced to discover imaginative ways of competing with the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bristol City.

Sources in Scotland suggested yesterday that realisation, coupled with the fact promotion remains the number one target, prompted Stuart McCall to pull out of the race to take charge following negotiations on Thursday.

Nevertheless, with Swindon Town recently announcing they are slashing their wage bill by around 50 per cent, United are not the only team facing tough choices.

Yeovil Town, who gained promotion after knocking them out of the play-offs, spent around £1m on both their footballing and coaching staff last season.

United, as Winter’s comments confirm, have made no attempt to conceal the constraints Wilson’s heir will face throughout a selection process now set to enter its third week.

Talks aimed at filling the vacancy were continuing yesterday.