The real reason manager Slavisa Jokanovic left Sheffield United has been revealed if sources close to Paddy Kenny are anything to go by.
The 53 year old Serbian was appointed as the permanent replacement to Chris Wilder in May following the club’s relegation to the Premier League.
But now Sheffield United sit 16th in the Championship table, with the club struggling to match the ambition of an immediate promotion back to the big time.
It’s claimed that Jokanovic – who took Watford and Fulham up a few years back – was axed after falling out with Prince Abdullah over transfer funds.
That’s according to former Blades stopper Paddy Kenny, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, and admitted to being shocked by the decision.
The club announced to parting company with the boss, and hours later followed by the announcement of Paul Heckingbottom as the club’s new manager on a four and a half year deal.
Kenny, who remains well connected to the club, claims an argument over transfer funds explains why Jokanovic left seemingly out of nowhere.
“It’s a really strange decision, I didn’t see it coming,” Kenny told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.
“I know people at the club obviously and I’ve heard from people there was a disagreement over transfer funds.
“That was an issue with Wilder as well. Maybe the Prince isn’t happy that Jokanovic came out and spoke about needing new players.
“We have seen it before, that’s his reaction and that’s the way the club is now.
“It feels like there is a cloud over the club at the moment and that is the fault of the owner.
“Jokanovic has every right to ask for new players if the owner is demanding results.
“I still haven’t got my head around it all, to be honest, a very strange decision.”
The Blades are next in action against Bristol City at Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon – find out what David Prutton predicted HERE.
Well yesterdays shock change for the blades was a shock 😲 I’m not sure about the change but hope I’m proved wrong 🙌🏻⚔️ this club is amazing with the best fans so let’s all get behind the change and get @SheffieldUnited climbing that table 😍 I’m there Sunday and can’t wait ⚔️⚔️
— Paddy Kenny (@paddykenny17) November 26, 2021
SHEFFIELD UNITED STATEMENT:
Sheffield United and Slaviša Jokanović have parted company, with Paul Heckingbottom installed as the club’s football manager.
Yorkshireman Heckingbottom takes charge of the club’s football business immediately after agreeing a contract through to the end of the 2025/26 season. He will begin by leading training at the Randox Health Academy on Friday and be in position for Sunday’s Sky Bet Championship fixture with Bristol City (12.30pm kick-off).
Following several months of strategic planning and a lacklustre start to the season, the board decided that a change was in the best long-term interests of the club.
Heckingbottom served as United’s caretaker manager last season, winning fixtures against Brighton, Everton and Burnley in the Premier League. He has been successful leading the club’s U23s squad and has previously managed Barnsley, Leeds United and Hibernian.
Heckingbottom will bring in a number of coaches to support his role, including former Blades players Jack Lester, who becomes head of player development, and Stuart McCall, who is the new assistant manager. Further announcements with regards to the structure of the football department will be made in due course.
Straight into it. 👊
Paul Heckingbottom taking charge of his first session as manager today. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/brBsjoJ59Y
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) November 26, 2021
Chairman Yusuf Giansiracusa commented: “We look forward to embarking on a new era in Blades football with Paul at the helm. Paul possesses the personal leadership qualities and technical football skills the board feels are essential to successfully implement the board’s strategic directives. He shares our values and interest in player development while also possessing the ambition and determination to get the most out of our current squad. We are convinced that Paul will play a leading role in improving all aspects of football operations.”
Stephen Bettis, United’s chief executive officer, added: “Disappointingly, after a slow start, we have not seen an improvement in results, performances and we’d prefer to be in a better league position. A decision has been made and now it is important that we look forward, Paul’s style and ethos matches that of the club and we will support him where possible. We have enough league games remaining, we know we have the ability and resources within our playing squad to start picking up points and climbing the league table.
Fans reacted as the real reason manager Slavisa Jokanovic left Sheffield United is revealed with Paul Heckingbottom brought in…
@johnlcritchley: I support the Blades, not the manager, not the chairman, not the board. The players out there on the pitch. Three points on Sunday and the world will look a better place.
@Graham2k12bfc: Am surprised they didn’t go for Neil warnock again surprise there get him in
@Rhunt92: Think it was rash decision and would take anyone a lot of time build you into a title challenging team again we all know that CW over achieved with that team.
@ToweringZigic: From the outside looking in, this seems like they wanted a yes man who’ll be easier to control. Is that accurate?
@Serbiantennis77: Fulham fan in peace. Unfortunately your board have let jokanovic go before his methods bed in. It can br frustrating at first but he always turned it around. Youve got 1 point less than we had at the same stage the season we finished 3rd with 89 points under him.
@temptedmarmot: He wanted a couple of players though to play his way and our owner has no funds
@milliemarrison1: No offence to heckingbottom, but what the actual fuck
@JamesBrownEFC: Didn’t fancy coming back up then?
@JP_Fenwick: “He shares our values and interest in player development while also possessing the ambition and determination to get the most out of our current squad.” This clear says there will be no investment in January
@CraigyBoyBes: As an outsider looking in. That seems like a blunder of the highest order
@SufcBlade1889: What fucking time machine did I fall into today?
@Annies_song_: Wilder to U23’s coach in 6 months 🤦…. and given him a 4 year deal…. couldn’t run a bath
@stephen_gandy13: What the actual fuck 🤣🤣🤣🤣 announce relegation
@1889bladette: well im hoping this doesnt go wrong cause prince gonna lose a lot of fans.. like i said i support the badge so lets see
@adambroadheadST: Uninspiring and just hoping past united associates can somehow translate to glory on the pitch isn’t a strong approach for change.
@burt3371: Expected him as interim manager but a 4 yr contract??? Obviously he has agreed to no new signings and no “rocking the boat”. @Saudi49er get out of our club. 😡⚔
@davidoxley1982: How come Newcastle get richest Saudis and we get fucking lumbered with you @Saudi49er
@danbullock: We’ll need to back Hecky, but I’m so so confused about all of this. It can surely only be that you weren’t going to provide funds in Jan? Or is that wrong? The crazy Blades ride truly never ends. ⚔️
@charleyfentonxo: How fucking embarrassing 🤣🤣🤣 what a fall from grace we’ve had
@ethslade: Cheapest option possible. Promote the u21 manager and not have to spend in January because he can dip into the U21. @Saudi49er is absolutely skint the poor lad