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Sheffield United to sack their manager after slamming owner for picking money over football

Sheffield United are to sack their manager Paul Heckingbottom after slamming the owner for picking money over football.

It was a game to forget for the Blades at the weekend, having been thumped 5-0 by relegation rivals Burnley, just a week on from winning 3-1 against Bournemouth at Bramall Lane.

His side sit rock bottom of the Premier League table and are four points from safety after a run of one win and five points taken from their opening 14 matches.

As expected, former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is the leading contender to replace Heckingbottom, say reports.

In Heckingbottom’s post-match interview, he believes Sheffield United are doomed having made ‘financial rather than football decisions’ during the summer transfer window.

This has resulted in them staring at an immediate return back to the Championship.

Key players including the likes of Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge were sold on.

“I wanted to keep the group together but we couldn’t,” Heckingbottom said.

“We couldn’t because of the last few years and the financial implications. If we’d tied them down [on longer contracts] then we probably wouldn’t have sold those players.

“There wasn’t a desire from the ownership to sell, but a necessity from a business point of view. We’ve been making financial decisions rather than football decisions. Of course that affects me. I didn’t want it to happen.”

Burnley, who won the Championship title last season, spent over £90m last the summer – including the capture of Berge.

“In terms of other clubs, good luck to them,” Heckingbottom went on. “Bournemouth last week – you go through the last four windows and we’ve been cutting the wage bill, transfer embargoes, selling the best assets, and they’ve spent £200m.

“We’re going to face this every week, but so what? We have to embrace the challenge of this league. The players have worked hard to be here. It’s not going to change. It’s just an excuse, a reason to fail.

“I know how hard I work for everyone at the club and that won’t change.

“The staff will do the same, we will continue to give everything we have got with what we have got. The first time I got asked this, however, many months ago [about his future]… you are asking the wrong person.

“The fans are right to shout that wasn’t good enough and I was almost singing along with them at one point.”

Questioned if he could understand the anger and frustration coming from the away end, Heckingbottom replied, as per Sheffield Star: “Yeah, I bet they’re nearly as angry as me.”

On his own position, which has been the source of scrutiny at several points of this season, he added: “Nothing will change in that respect. I’ve had this now since the beginning of September.

“I can walk out of this stadium with my head held high. I know how hard I work at the club and that won’t change. I’ll make sure the staff do the same. We’ll continue to give everything we’ve got with what we’ve got. That’s won’t change, As I said the first time I got asked this however many months ago, you’re asking the wrong person.”

Heckingbottom gave John Fleck his first start of the season, replacing Vini Souza and also brought in Anel Ahmedhodzic and McBurnie from the start. “We picked a team with experience, physicality to impose ourselves on Burnley, which they would have been expecting,” Heckingbottom said.

“And then we dangled two legs in two tackles in the first 30 seconds and we’re 1-0 down. The second goal’s not much better from our point of view in how we defended and by half-time we’re down to 10 men. Burnley would not have been expecting a game like that, and neither was I. That’s decided the game.”

Sheffield United said via their website after the game: “Paul Heckingbottom felt United made it too easy for Burnley in Saturday’s heavy loss at Turf Moor, with the boss visibly annoyed at the manner of the first two goals in particular.

“The manager understandably refused to share what had been said in the dressing room, but acknowledged it was impossible not to be critical of his players in the aftermath, knowing his side hadn’t done themselves or him justice.

“Heckingbottom made no excuses and admitted his team owe it to everyone connected to the club to have a stronger mentality and show more resilience when times get tough on the biggest stage because there is no hiding place.”

Twitter users reacted with Sheffield United to sack their manager after slamming the owner for picking money over football…

@KyleRSHU: Now it’s actually happening, I’m a little sad. This season was over before it even started with our summer window, so I’ll always remember him for the joys of last season. Hecky picked us up when we were shite under Slav and put the pieces back together. #twitterblades

@alistairwvlogs: The problem is, we all know we’re going down. We don’t have the players to keep ourselves up, but we can’t accept going down without a fight, and it’s on the manager to instil that fighting spirit. #twitterblades

@ryanhobson7: Harsh on Hecky as he was never given a fighting chance by the #sufc owners. But when the players down the tools it’s the manager that gets the boot. The players need to look themselves in the mirror and step up. #twitterblades

@mrneilmorrow: As a #twitterblades fan, this feels like a really bad move. PH is not the problem. CW is not the solution. The owners provided a squad that cannot be competitive at Premier League level. This is rearranging the deckchairs while the ship sinks.

@BladesViews: If Wilder does come back the lid needs lifting on his previous departure from us to clear the air. But 100% the only bloke I can think of to front up to our struggles and keep the clubs and fans together he’ll hook players off after 5 mins if they’re not committed. #twitterblades

@brownblade: Fantastic job overall Hecky. Pretty much no chance this season, really not his fault. Some questionable tactics/subs but barely any options in the playing squad. We need someone to buy us and set up real infrastructure. It’s an INSANE football world, ruined by £££. #twitterblades

@RobPNicholson: 1 step forwards 1 step back

@RowleyOnARiver: The one thing I guarantee Wilder puts back into this group of players is fight and belief. He won’t make them any better, but at least they’ll be willing to die for the shirt again. #SUFC

@buxtonblade: Thankyou @pheckingbottom you have worked miracles with the backing you didn’t receive, also ultimately these players have let you down massively, not convinced Mr Wilder will get a tune out of them either but time will tell…. #twitterblades

@BullrushBlade: If it is true. Thank you to Hecky – this season has been awful but the club would be in a hole if we didn’t get promoted and he got us up. For that he deserves praise but ultimately correct decision to now move on. #twitterblades

@ijparkes: Not sure how I stand on Wilder. He did amazing things for us and I can’t imagine we will continue to see such a lack of fight. However, I do feel the club needs a more long term solution. The other issue being though, who else other than Wilder would want the job? #twitterblades

@liamleeds88: Sheffield United are absolutely bonkers if they go back to Wilder. New manager and new system surely? Their formation works in the championship but its ripped apart in Prem.

@gytxfgh: This team ability wise are not upto the premier league, it needs a motivator to guide them through to the end, no better than Chris Wilder for this club and the situation in, he knows what it needs, can’t be any worse in a very difficult situation #twitterblades

@AzamWHUFC: And then in 2 years time Paul Heckingbottom will replace Chris Wilder.

@Ricky_Slick: Feel for him me. Losing illi and sander fucked us before we even started.

@updemblades24: Thanks for everything Hecky, like you said in your interview you can hold your head high and you’re spot on. This season has been a disaster & Hecky has to take a lot of the blame with tactics, team selections etc. Wish he could stay with the u21s but won’t happen. #twitterblades

@updemblades24: Never wanted CW to leave in the 1st place. I fell in love with the club again under him. Not bothered how or why he left, he’s back and hopefully he can take us on another journey. If he can’t so be it, we’ll be back being a tinpot club again with a skint owner 🤣 #twitterblades

@Bladesspeak: Wilder will be brought in on a temporary contract until the end of the season to see firstly if he can win back the support of the fans #Twitterblades

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