‘Top 10 in English football’ – Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder congratulates ‘huge’ Leeds United on Premier League promotion
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has offered his congratulations to Leeds United following their promotion to the Premier League after describing Marcelo Bielsa's men as one of the top 10 clubs in English football.
Leeds' automatic promotion place was sealed when second-placed West Brom lost 2-1 away at Huddersfield. Leeds beat Barnsley 1-0 on Thursday to move to 87 points, and West Brom's defeat left them five points behind Bielsa's men with one game to play in the Championship.
Jubilant fans gathered at Elland Road to celebrate the club's return to the top table of English football after being relegated in 2004, while the players were also in party mode as they danced and saluted supporters from the windows of the stadium.
"Leeds is a huge football club, a giant one," Wilder, whose side beat Leeds to automatic promotion from the Championship last season, said.
"Congratulations, to Marcelo and Liam [Cooper, Leeds' captain] and all the players.
"We had a tremendous tussle with them in the Championship which went to the wire, so to recover in the way they have and steamroller the division is a great achievement.
"There's a lot of pressure on that club and the players have stood up to that, especially considering what happened last year.
"I'm looking forward to the games against them next season.
"It's a giant of a football club and they're definitely in top 10 of English football clubs, in terms of history, fanbase and power.
"I think everyone in the game does recognise that. Congratulations to everyone at Leeds United."
Former Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell, who also managed the Blades, said: "It's something I wish I could have done, but didn't quite manage it.
"Knowing the club, the fans and the expectation, this is massive for them and all credit to Bielsa and his team for getting them over the line. I know how tough it is.
"Leeds United is one of the clubs that every team wants to beat and that's what makes it harder to get out of the Championship.
"Believe me, to win the Championship it is a tough, tough slog and the pressure was really on Leeds this time."