Sheffield United sack their manager Slavisa Jokanovic and immediately replace him with Paul Heckingbottom on Thursday morning.
The 53 year old Serbian is reportedly expected to depart the Blades with the Championship outfit languishing in 16th place this term.
Former Watford and Fulham boss Jokanovic was named Chris Wilder’s replacement last summer and had the task of rebuilding the club after a horrid campaign which saw them relegated from the top flight.
He signed a three-year deal, becoming the club’s first overseas manager, and previously had experience at getting teams out of this league.
His impressive tenures with Watford and Fulham had fans keen that he could get the Blades straight back up.
However, a lacklustre start has seen his job hang by a thread, with the Telegraph since reporting that he is set to be given his marching orders by the club.
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.
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.”
Sheffield United’s 1-0 win over strugglers Reading on Tuesday night was their first league victory in five games, and they currently sit eight points behind the playoff places.
Twitter users reacted with Sheffield United sack their manager and immediately replace him, see what they said below…
I sense the conversation went like this…
Prince: “You have no money for January transfers.”
SJ: “Okay them. I’m off.”
@METwedds: I think clubs will be sniffing round Rooney soon…
@jamesjamesbrown: I watched derby at Fulham last night and they played pretty good football i thought. Fulham missed a few good chances to score but derby rarely looked that ruffled. Just lacked a decent striker.
@NottsCounty1991: Imagine if Warnock returned lol
@Adam70433875: I had backed the prince but it’s telling when two managers quit and hecky showed no strong interest in wanting the job #twitterblades
@supersimmo123: Whilst they have underperformed, I thought he would be given far more backing that he got and would expect he doesn’t fancy another battle for transfers in January again. Top manager no doubt, sounds like bigger issues behind the scenes there
@sarah_WBAx: Bit shocked, Percy is normally spot on, started poorly but thought he’d get a bit more time to turn it round 😬
@ivesy_sufc95: We’re becoming a laughing stock, if he’s walked then there’s clearly something wrong above him!
@stubbzifc: 2 great management staff 1 gone and the other apparently going when are people gonna realise where the issue is?? Clubs fucked if Jokanovic is gone!
@Joelbirmz12: Fucking joke
@S66Quack: Please not Warnock, please not Warnock. #sufc #twitterblades #jokanovic
@calow4k: if we sack jokanovic this will be the worst decision this club will ever make
@RoadtolegendsPL: Daniel Farke should get this
@CallumC203: Has to have someone else lined up then surely
@LewisRWalsh: You hear that faint noise in the distance? That’s the sound of Neil Warnock telling his wife that he’s got one more challenge left in him
@olicoulsxn: It simply has to be Warnock. One last dance, go on Neil
@StocksColin: Not gonna be cheap and wonder who’s lined up to take over
@OpinionOfAnOwl: If this is a sacking, then this is shocking from the blades. Jokanovic is a premium manager at this level and needed to be given time. Such a shame…
@Chris78901: Find this so surprising. Jokanovic with players to suit a 4-2-3-1 is a machine in the Championship. Maybe it was stubbornness/unwillingness to change given the players he inherited were suited to three at the back formations, who knows
@GuyN72: Difficult job this. Sheff U are suffering a similar fate to us: Made some very poor signings. They’ve also been rinsed by Liverpool. #afcb
@willbarber95: If this is true – fuckin stupid
@tomseyms: If he’s decided to leave then not much can be done. But if this is a sacking it’s a mad decision. The football has been pretty awful this season, but he’s also working with a jaded squad that badly needs an overhaul. What next?? #sufc #twitterblades
@1JonDavies1988: While he hasn’t helped himself at times, you don’t fetch him and then don’t back him. Imagine he has been told he hasn’t got any money in January and thought fuck this #sufc
@MoLe_BlAdE: Fucking state of our club, man. If this is true, he’s clearly not had the assurances he was promised. That’ll be two managers that feel they’d rather walk away than deal with the owners #twitterblades #sufc
@AdamFFC: He stood zero chance with the squad he has there, none of those players have the ability to play slavball
@AskwithJames: #twitterblades if true got get Paul warne from Rotherham. Done a brilliant job over there works with small squads low budgets plays great football. Only got a year on his remaining contact.
@Rob_Smithers6: Bring back Warnock for a last dance. And film every second of it.
@Bladesam1983: Absolute joke. We’ve not been good but this will be proof that the Poundshop Prince hasn’t got a pot to piss in and won’t be backing him in January. Do us a favour and fuck off mate (Prince – not Slav)
@tomseyms: The 12-year Sheffield United cycle rolls on. Relegated from the Prem in 94, back in 06. Relegated in 07, back in 2019. Relegated in 21… bring on 2033! We’ve had our time in the sun, now it’s back to hope and inevitable disappointment for a decade or so #sufc #twitterblades
@ijparkes: When Wilder left I was happy to accept the relationship just broke down between him and the board and they both made mistakes. I think we can now see where the problems all lie…..#twitterblades
@tyronej1984: So, we’ve employed someone, knowing the preferred way he likes his teams to play, and then hamstrung him by not giving him the time or tools he needs to do his job. Shocking decision.
@64Shergar: Slav, CW doesn’t matter who’s in charge whilst we have this owner we’re heading in one direction. Now what do all you owner lovers think. Slav has been undermined too, you cannot work in those circumstances. Blades life simples. Ffs #twitterblades #sufc
@unitedite: So, if Jokanovic is going, as seems true, that is all at the door of a Board who haven’t backed him and wasted the opportunity that his appointment provided. You appoint a manager with a known way of playing bit don’t give him the tools. It’s a shambles. #twitterblades
Get ready folks…. pic.twitter.com/LO1V7hqlzz
— Ram 1972 💙🐏 (@MikeSatterlee) November 25, 2021
— Naks🥤 (@TopBoyNaks) November 25, 2021