Sheffield United appear to be edging closer to a replacement for Chris Wilder, with Alexander Blessin the name on most people’s lips.
Reports over the weekend suggested Blessin was close to leaving his role as KV Oostende manager. That, of course, intensified the rumours in England that Blessin was set for Bramall Lane.
The German coach is said to have impressed the United board. His development of young players, adaptation of the 3-5-2 system, and knowledge of the European market, all said to be working in his favour.
The Examiner claimed earlier today that Blessin is indeed on the radar of United, although no approach has been officially made as yet.
But in another twist to the search for a new coach, the Sheffield Star has reported how Brexit could well impact the Blades’ potential move for Blessin.
Brexit to impact Sheffield United move for Alexander Blessin
Brexit was always bound to have an impact on football and it looks like United might be getting their first taste of it here.
Per the Star’s report, it is believed Blessin may struggle to meet the criteria set out in the guidelines and laws to enable him to work in the English game.
Blessin is required to meet the standards and ‘points tally’ needed to obtain a GBE (Governing Body Endorsement). That, essentially, means Blessin needs to have been working in one of Europe’s top leagues for three of the last five years, or two consecutively, to automatically quality.
Given the status of the Jupiler League in Belgium, Blessin wouldn’t automatcially fulfil this criteria. Indeed, the Star mentions the likes of Marcelo Bielsa and Daniel Farke would now suffer a similar fate.
Naturally, there may be ways around this. United could well lodge and appeal or make a convincing case for what Blessin would bring to the English game as a whole, as well as the club.
As we’ve seen before, football does seem to have a way of getting around certain situations like other businesses cannot do. For United’s pursuit of Blessin to come to fruition, it looks like the Blades need to hope the footballing and governing gods are shining down on them.