Rio Ferdinand says Sheffield United will be relegated unless they change their current wage structure.
Ferdinand was speaking as a pundit on BT Sport about the news John Lundstram won’t be signing a new contract.
Lundstram’s current deal expires at the end of this season. It’s expected the midfielder will leave then, if not in January.
Ferdinand understands why the 26-year-old would want to seek more money elsewhere. But thinks the club’s wage policy will cost them their place in the Premier League if they don’t alter it soon.
“If you stick to the model they’ve got, then probably at some point they might fall out of the league as they’re competing with teams who’ve got huge budgets,” Ferdinand said, as quoted by Yorkshire Live.
“So, at some point, there’ll come a stage where Chris Wilder will be very frustrated – even now, probably – that he hasn’t had the funds other people are getting.
“Aston Villa haven’t been in the league for that many years but their wage structure will look completely different to Sheffield United’s and you can see where they are in the league.
“It does help you, you do need it. And he’ll be looking at his owners thinking ‘please give me a chance’.”
Does Rio Ferdinand have a point about Sheffield United?
The former Manchester United and England defender is correct in thinking the wages offered at Bramall Lane are much lower than elsewhere in the top flight.
It’s claimed that the top earners at United earn around £30,000-a-week.
Compare this to Villa, whom Ferdinand raised in his own comments. They signed Ollie Watkins from Brentford this September in a transfer deal potentially rising to £33m.
They also agreed to pay Watkins £70,000-a-week. That’s more than double what the biggest earners are getting at the Blades.
The South Yorkshire club were linked with the forward as well. Yet clearly they were never going to be able to compete financially with the Villans.
United are currently second bottom in the table with a single point after seven games. They are the lowest scorers in the division with just three goals during that time.
Does Ferdinand have a point?