Stephen Bettis breaks silence about Chris Wilder after talismanic manager's Sheffield United departure

Stephen Bettis, Sheffield United's chief executive, has broken his silence after the Blades officially confirmed the departure of their talismanic manager Chris Wilder.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 10:37 pm

Wilder left Bramall Lane on Thursday, before news that his five-year tenure had ended was revealed in a statement issued by United on Friday evening.

The Blades have subsequently installed U23s boss Paul Heckingbottom as their caretaker boss for the remainder of the Premier League season, assisted by former Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall, Alan Knill and the rest of Wilder's backroom staff.

And Bettis said of Wilder: "I came here about six months before Chris arrived and then for the last four to give years, we've had the journey we've had together.

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"What Chris has done at this club will remain in history forever. It's been an amazing achievement getting us from League One to the Premier League and we had an amazing season last season - which surprised a number of people, especially other teams in the league.

"Chris will always have that, and it's just been a great achievement all round."

Bettis confirmed that his long-time friend Tindall will officially begin work at United on Monday, having "a watching brief" when the Blades travel to Leicester City for their first game of the post-Wilder era.

"The appointment of Paul and the integration from development to senior level is testimony to the great work that is currently being done at the academy," Bettis said.

Chris Wilder and United chief executive Steve Bettis in happier times: Scott Merrylees

"The club sees the following months as an opportunity to further develop some of our talents at the academy and to give them valuable time to train with the first team."