This is why Sheffield United announced Slavisa Jokanovic's arrival more than a month before he will take charge
Slavisa Jokanovic is expected to officially start work at Sheffield United on July 1, after agreeing to become the club’s new manager.
As The Star predicted earlier this month, the Serb’s appointment was confirmed on Thursday following nearly three weeks of talks between his representatives and the Bramall Lane board.
However, with his contract at Al-Gharafa not set to expire until June 30, a decision was taken to allow Jokanovic to see out his deal with the Qatari’s rather than negotiate an early exit.
Having spent two months searching for Chris Wilder’s successor, United’s hierarchy calculated the benefits of unveiling Jokanovic now outweighed those associated with delaying an announcement.
Speaking after United waved goodbye to the Premier League with a win over Burnley, Paul Heckingbottom who has been in interim charge since March, admitted the players would benefit from the “certainty” of knowing who was about to take over.
“There’s people in there who need answers,” he said, “That’s not a criticism. Far from it. It’s just how it is.”
“They want to know and that;s only natural,” he added. “Of course they want to know who they will be working for rather than going away (on holiday) or having a break and then worrying about it.
“It’s a very uncertain time for everyone, so a quick decision would be best. But they (the board) will do what’s right, because it’s more important to get the right person in.”
Heckingbottom, who is set to resume his work with the under-23’s when Jokanovic takes charge, will remain in contact with HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his sporting advisor Jan van Winkel over the coming weeks as United prepare for the former Watford and Fulham chief’s arrival.
“It’s not the type of job where you can just switch off,” Heckingbottom said before the meeting with Sean Dyche’s side. “It’s 24/7 seven days a week, you’re always thinking about it.
“Yes. I’m looking forward to some time away with the family. But there’s still going to be things that need doing. Whatever I do, it’s going to be for the benefit of the club.”