Acting Sheffield United chairman, Yusuf Giansiracusa, finally spoke out this weekend on a number of issues fans had wanted addressing over the summer.
After a quiet summer in the transfer market, United did at least spring into action with a few late arrivals. Morgan Gibbs-White, Robin Olsen, and Conor Hourihane all came in late in the day to supplement the addition of Ben Davies earlier this summer.
Those four, coupled with the new deal for the emerging Iliman Ndiaye, meant it ended up being a decent enough window.
With Aaron Ramsdale sold for around £24m, and no permanent signings brought in, United fans had questions. In addition to that, the investment in the ground, training facilities, and the academy have all seemed to slow.
But in a welcome section in this past weekend’s match programme, acting chairman of Sheffield United, Giansiracusa, addressed some of those points.
After the successful interview with Prince Abdullah on the hugely popular Sheffield United Way YouTube channel, communication from board level like this is appreciated.
And Giansiracusa, like Abdullah, was quick to point out the spending over the last few years, with Liverpool and Chelsea dropped in again.
‘Between player acquisitions and re-uniting the real estate with the club, we have been able to invest around £180m in the club while taking nothing out. In fact, we’ve had bigger net spend than both Chelsea and Liverpool/. In terms of on-field spend,” Giansiracusa wrote in the match programme (P30/31)
“The reduced TV money, Covid-19, and relegation has caused significant deficit. This must be covered, but we remain confident that the club is and will remain financially secure.”
One of the other big talking points of the summer and before that even, is the training ground. Chris Wilder had spoken more than once about improving things for the players. And while nothing major has happened as yet, Giansiracusa confirmed things are in place for the future.
“There are developments planned for the stadium and the academy sites to ensure we keep pace with our peers,” he added when talking about short and long-term goals for the board.
“In the short-term, Shirecliffe continues to be upgrade to improve both the facilities for the first-team and development team. Over the longer term, we are committed to achieving Category One status for the academy. We are also continuing to explore venues around the city for this.”
It seems that, on paper at least, United’s board have the best intentions. But time will tell, as is always the case.
You can’t fault the board for backing Slavisa late in the day during transfer window. But there’s also nagging doubts. Nagging doubts about money, infrastructure, and more.
It’s obvious promotion is key to these objectives being achieved. But if Jokanovic doesn’t bring that promotion, then the pressure will truly be on this board.