Sheffield United failed to sign anyone on a permanent deal over the summer and the Blades owner, Prince Abdullah, has been vocal this week on club matters.
The United chief offered himself up to do an interview with the local YouTube channel, Sheff United Way, and went into some detail about relegation, the summer window, and the club’s squad in general.
Among the interesting comments made from Prince Abdullah, was the admission that he is close to securing some fresh investment in the club. Of course, this will be vital given our relegation and circumstances.
Crucially, though, Abdullah offered no insight into who this might be or for how much money. Indeed, he quickly moved onto fresh matters.
And Yorkshire Live have also confirmed that this is ‘new news’. It could mean, then, that United fans are waiting quite some time for any official sort of confirmation.
Finances remain a concern
The interview from Abdullah was great to see. You also have to give kudos to the lads at Sheff United Way for getting him on the channel. But…there were some alarm bells as well.
Some of this stuff we have heard before. The Prince referenced Premier League spending and once again chucked Chelsea and Liverpool into the mix. But they are in a completely different league to us financially, so that comparison doesn’t hold much weight.
Secondly, the figures quoted seem to change over time. In different periods, we’ve heard £120m, £140m, and now around £180m spent. A quick search will tell you we are nowhere near that £180m mark, unless of course the owner is including all salaries, loans and new contracts, at which point it might be a more fair comment.
Prince Abdullah also gave a bizarre example about mortgaging his own home in Los Angeles as he seemed to suggest everyone has to take some sort of hit. Quite what that means, is open to debate.
Work to be done
Worryingly, we haven’t seen or had confirmation of the training ground improvements. Neither in the form of Shirecliffe, or a new site. This was something Chris Wilder pushed on, and Slavisa Jokanovic has also mentioned.
We’ve also seen another scattergun approach to signings. United left it late in the window, and added numerous loan players. Yet in the interview, Abdullah said he prefers permanent signings to temporary ones? So what exactly is the strategy coming from the top?
Finally, we know that a supposed ‘intermediary’ was appointed and paid to try and tout some players for sales. This clearly didn’t work, with only Aaron Ramsdale leaving the club. And while this isn’t completely uncommon in football, it smacks of a bit of a desperation.
All in all, it was nice to see the Prince take to the channel to offer his say on a few things. But there wasn’t too much in way of being challenged either, and that is something that’s needed going forward.
This was a great start, but more of this is needed, from channels like Sheff U Way and the local press.