Chris Wilder reveals just how close he came to joining Charlton before Sheffield United
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Chris Wilder reveals just how close he came to joining Charlton before Sheffield United

Chris Wilder has spoken about just how close he came to taking the Charlton Athletic job prior to taking over at Sheffield United.

Wilder took over his boyhood club back in 2016. After guiding Northampton to the league title under difficult circumstances, Wilder was a man in demand.

Chris Wilder and Alan Knill very nearly joined Charlton before moving to United.  (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

It was widely reported at the time that a deal was more or less done with Charlton. The Addicks were in a similar position to the Blades and were looking for someone to get them back up the leagues. They thought, then, that they had got their man.

However, Wilder never quite made it to The Valley, opting to sign for the Blades. The rest, as they say, is history.


And speaking in an interview for The Sack Race recently, Wilder went into detail about how close he was to joining.

“Yeah, it’s a club that I really admire, a very similar club to Sheffield United. I was due for a press conference at two o’clock and I was intercepted. Wilder said when asked if he was close,” Wilder said.

“The night before I got a phone call asking if I’d be interested in speaking to the board of directors of Sheffield United in London”.

“After about half an hour I said to Alan (Knill), ‘I think we’ve got this job’ and we’re going to have to take it'”.


Wilder has transformed the club in his time at Bramall Lane. Two promotions in three seasons and now firmly cemented in the Premier League, things couldn’t have gone much better.

Wilder led United to the League One title in the 2016/17 season. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

But Wilder revealed he just couldn’t say no, admitting it was widely known among his ‘pals’ that he’d always take the Blades job if it came up.

“It was something that was talked about by my friends and people that I knew in Sheffield (the job coming up). I knew that if I got offered it, I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t take it“, Wilder added.

It’s a fascinating insight from Wilder. The Charlton job was always something that was talked about previously but Wilder has never directly addressed the issue.

Charlton went on to finish 13th in League One that season. The Blades, however, romped home to the title, with 100 points and 92 to their name.

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