The reports are true: Chris Wilder has left boyhood club Sheffield United after an incredible rise through the Football League system.
Wilder’s men will be relegated back to the Championship barring a miracle, but the Blades’ remarkable ascent to the Premier League saw them compete for a European place deep into their first top-flight season last year.
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The club says the move comes “by mutual consent.” Their full statement is below, but here are Wilder’s words first:
“Being manager of Sheffield United has been a special journey and one I’ll never forget. I was delighted to be given the opportunity back in 2016 and have been delighted with the success which we have achieved, including two promotions and a highest ever Premier League finish. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Club’s accomplishments along the way, including the players, staff and, in particular, the supporters.”
Wilder and the ownership fell out this year as the manager didn’t get the backing he wanted in the transfer market and became more vocal about the personnel woes as the season went forward.
Blades’ start to the season was historically bad, even though the side was quite unlucky in terms of expected goals versus the scorelines that helped them to 20th place with less than one-third of the season to play.
The Board and Chris Wilder, who has managed the Blades to more than 100 wins in his almost five years at Bramall Lane, made the decision following discussions.
Earlier this season, Chris Wilder surpassed 200 league games in charge of the Blades, becoming the sixth United manager to reach this milestone.
We are confident that all Blades fans around the world will join us in thanking Chris for his hard work, commitment and expertise in driving the Club. Now the Club will turn its attention to completing the season as strongly as possible and if we are relegated, to preparing for the Championship. We confirm our intention to keep the core of the player group together and will continue to invest further in the Academy and the First Team, to place us in the best possible position for the future.