Sheffield United: When Bramall Lane was really chosen to stage the Women's European Championships

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Sheffield United were chosen as one of the host venues for this summer’s UEFA Women’s Championships it has emerged - long before the club were promoted to the Premier League.
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Despite suggestions that Bramall Lane was selected ahead of Hillsborough, the home of United’s neighbours Sheffield Wednesday, because it has staged top flight football for two of the past four seasons, The Star has discovered the now Championship club received the go ahead from the FA to partner the city council’s bid 12 months earlier than initially reported.

The governing body’s decision was taken following inspections of both grounds, with United employers committing to completing the necessary upgrading work irrespective of which division they would be competing in when the tournament began. This included improving the media facilities, overhauling IT infrastructure and extending the size of the pitch.

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“It was ultimately a busy but very rewarding time for the club,” United’s head of operations Dave McCarthy said. “To see Sheffield and Bramall Lane showcased across the globe, and for the club to have the prestige of hosting a major international competition semi-final just adds another chapter to this stadium’s impressive history.”

England won the trophy, beating Germany in the final after progressing past Sweden at Bramall Lane.

It was the fifth match at the tournament United had accommodated, with Holland and Switzerland also appearing there.

England's Alex Greenwood is the partner of Sheffield United's Jack O'ConnellEngland's Alex Greenwood is the partner of Sheffield United's Jack O'Connell
England's Alex Greenwood is the partner of Sheffield United's Jack O'Connell

“It couldn’t have worked out better seeing England win here in the semi-finals in front of a full house, and on behalf of the club, I’d like to congratulate Sarina Wiegman and the Lionesses on their remarkable achievement,” McCarthy added ahead of Saturday’s win over Millwall, which saw England’s Alex Greenwood, partner of United’s Jack O’Connell, presented the the crowd before kick-off.

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“To be a host venue you have to meet the high standards set by UEFA and the FA, and we couldn’t have done this without the commitment of our staff, whose work continued after UEFA departed as we looked to turn the stadium around for our home game with Millwall.

“It has been a long four years in the planning, but I think we can all agree it has been well worth it.”