EXCLUSIVE: Chris Wilder to be SACKED by Sheffield United TODAY after fall-outs with Saudi owner over need for a director of football and with the club bottom of the Premier League
- Chris Wilder will be sacked as Sheffield United manager on Friday morning
- There have been clashes with ownership over their plan for a director of football
- Owners feel Wilder’s recruitment record at Bramall Lane has been below par
- He will leave Sheffield United bottom of the Premier League with 10 games left
Chris Wilder is to be sacked as Sheffield United manager on Friday following a breakdown of communication with owners’ over their desire to appoint a director of football.
Sportsmail exclusively revealed earlier this month that his position at Bramall Lane was under ‘serious threat’ after clashes with owner Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
The Blades are bottom of the Premier League having won just four of their 28 matches this season. They sit 12 points from safety.
Sheffield United are bottom of the Premier League and changes appear to be on the horizon
Discussions have been held over Chris Wilder’s future and he is to be sacked as boss on Friday
With relegation to the Championship now appearing likely, both Wilder and Prince Abdullah have plans as to what needs to happen to ensure an immediate return to the top-flight.
It is understood that the owners are keen for a director of football to take control of recruitment.
They believe Wilder’s record in that department since they bought he club has not been good enough.
Wilder wants the public backing of Prince Abdullah, but the pair disagree on recruitment
For his part, Wilder could if he wished point to his identification of targets who have subsequently gone on to do well at other Premier League clubs.
These include Jesse Lingard – starring at West Ham after a loan from Manchester United – Aston Villa duo Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins and defender Ben Davies who could have come to South Yorkshire from Preston in early January prior to eventually moving to Liverpool.
Ultimately, Sheffield United didn’t sign a single player in January.
Back in December, Wilder admitted he would walk if he thought it was the right thing to do for the club.
‘I’d only do that if I thought it was the right thing for Sheffield United,’ the 53-year-old told Sky Sports. ‘That’s the only time I would do that.
‘The club means far too much for me for it to be about me. It’s about what happens for the club.
Wilder kicks a water bottle in frustration as defeats pile up, pushing them closer to relegation
‘Whether people above me are giving me their support, or the decisions or whatever, I understand and respect that. I’m working away.
‘I talk with the owner and we’re not happy with the results, of course. He isn’t and I’m certainly not.’
Wilder took over at Bramall Lane in May 2016 and took them from League One to the Premier League in three years.
In their first season back in the top division they were a breathe of fresh air under Wilder with their overlapping centre backs and resolute back-line guiding them to ninth – but things have not proven so straightforward this season.
Defeat to Southampton in their last league match left Wilder dismayed and of the belief that something has to change.
It was their fifth defeat in six and they produced only two shots on target in a 2-0 loss that dealt another huge blow to their survival hopes.
After the game Wilder was unequivocal in comments their needs to be a ‘shake-up’ at Bramall Lane.
Wilder (left) said in December he would walk away from the club if he felt it was the right call
‘It needs a bit of a shake-up in terms of a few bodies going out and a few bodies coming in,’ he said.
‘There are a couple that need to go. They have to go at the end of the season.
‘I’d like to shake it up a little bit more quickly but the rules and regs now, for that, don’t allow me to.
‘Obviously, the hand that I’m given at the moment is a pretty tough one with some of the players that we have to go with.’
The Blades travel to high-flying Leicester City on Sunday before an FA Cup quarter-final against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea a week later.
Under-23s boss Paul Heckingbottom is set to take charge at the King Power stadium.
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