The reason Crystal Palace have survived in the Premier League and Sheffield United haven’t is down to wages.
That’s according to Blades caretaker manager, Paul Heckingbottom, ahead of his side facing Palace this Saturday.
United’s relegation from the top flight has already been confirmed. Meanwhile, the Eagles will play their eighth successive campaign in the division in 2021/22.
“You have to look at the wages they pay to attract the players and keep the players in the Premier League to gradually build,” Heckingbottom told BBC Radio Sheffield.
“So whilst you’re building on the pitch, you’ve got to build off it to maintain.”
More issues with wages at Sheffield United
This isn’t the first time the problem of how much the South Yorkshire club pay their players has been raised.
Chris Wilder guided the Blades from the bottom of League One to ninth in the Premier League in just four years.
While new and more expensive signings were made during that time, United still paid the lowest wages in the top flight in 2019/20.
The current top earners at Bramall Lane are believed to receive around £30,000-a-week.
In contrast, Palace’s highest paid player – Wilfried Zaha – gets £131,000-a-week, according to The Mirror.
It makes Wilder’s achievement last term all the more impressive. But he wanted the club’s hierarchy to increase their wage structure ahead of this season.
Wilder recommended the signings of Ross Barkley, Ollie Watkins and Callum Wilson before the start of 2020/21, but all were deemed too expensive.
A recent report analysing the club’s finances said they possibly played it “too safe”.
Wilder has of course since left, but Heckingbottom clearly shares the same concerns.