Sheffield United: Some fans would prefer to stay in the Championship... and I get it - Alan Biggs' Blades Column

Prepare for the torture, Blades fans. This column (while blind to the West Brom result on Wednesday) can’t see much stopping Sheffield United for the play-offs.

By Alan Biggs
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 2:26 pm
Some Sheffield United fans aren't that bothered about makng it back into the Premier League
Some Sheffield United fans aren't that bothered about makng it back into the Premier League

And yet there is an element that actually prefers it this way. Football in the Championship, that is.

Have to be careful how I frame this but every so often I receive a tweet from a Sheffield United supporter saying they don’t want promotion to the Premier League.

They are in a minority, of course, and probably a tiny one. But in the psychology of preparing for a recurring disappointment before it happens, this frame of mind is right up there.

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Not shared by anyone at Bramall Lane, for sure. Paul Heckingbottom is superbly marshalling a largely hardened, professional group, many of whom want to relive the heights of their careers.

Off the field, there will be a relish of the income the Premier League brings and hopefully, if it happens, a definite and workable plan to stay there next time.

However, it’s noticeable how the pulling power of the Lane has been barely impacted, in terms of numbers, by relegation.

Average attendances of more than 27,000 are the best in the Championship. People are enjoying their football.

Doubtless the legacy of two years in the top flight has swelled that support, though I think it goes deeper - to a dislike of weird and wonderful kick-off times, fewer matches on the card and the almost total absence of the Saturday 3pm experience.

Added to which, the close nature of competition with any number of clubs of comparable size vying with each other and the higher chance of seeing a victory.

The message is that, for all the trumpeting of it’s pre-eminence, the Premier League has to make itself more attractive for reasons beyond finance alone.

Not turning it down, as you seriously wouldn’t, is not the most ringing endorsement