Sheffield United: Blades left counting the eye-watering cost of Covid-19 fixture disruption through no fault of their own

Sheffield United could lose nearly £500,000 after their last three home games were postponed because of Covid-19 outbreaks within the visitors’ squads.

Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 11:00 am

The Star reported how the English Football League’s decision to grant Queens Park Rangers’ request to rearrange their trip to Bramall Lane three weeks ago had seen United miss out on television and matchday revenues of more than £100,000.

A near full house was also expected to watch December 29th’s Yorkshire derby against Hull City before that also fell victim to the coronavirus, with Grant McCann’s side insisting they did not have enough players available for selection to fulfil the fixture.

Saturday’s clash with fellow promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough, now led by former United manager Chris Wilder, also failed to go ahead as planned when Paul Heckingbottom’s predecessor told the EFL his squad had been “decimated” by positive tests.

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Sheffield United will lose money through no fault of their own thanks to the Covid-19 fixture chaos

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Like the QPR contest, that had also been set to be broadcast live in a primetime slot - something which would have seen United bank a £100,000 payment.

With no guarantee the rearranged dates will attract either the same type of gates or be selected for TV coverage, United have been left counting the cost of the disruption being caused to the calendar through no fault of their own.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The late notice of all three postponements also means the club will have written, produced and printed matchday programmes as well as stocked their catering outlets and corporate guests.

Despite also being affected by Covid-19, Heckingbottom has confirmed United were also prepared to face Preston North End, who successfully petitioned for their Boxing Day game against his men to be put back until later this month.