Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder believes the latest allegations of corruption in football are not a major issue in the lower leagues.
Wilder, in charge at League One United, believes the huge amount of money in the Premier League and Championship – with multi-million pound transfers commonplace – is behind the misdemeanours highlighted in this week’s Daily Telegraph probe.
England manager Sam Allardyce was the first casualty, while yesterday Championship side Barnsley sacked assistant manager Tommy Wright following the newspaper allegations.
Wilder – former Halifax Town and Northampton boss – said he had never been approached by agents offering cash to sign players. But he believes there will be “a lot of nervous people” in football, with rumours that more high-profile managers’ identities are set to be revealed.
“It’s been disappointing, but I imagine like a lot of industries – where there is a lot of money flying about – then there is people out there who can be, and will be affected by it,” said Wilder.
“It’s really disappointing, but I am not surprised with the amount of money that is awash at Premier League and Championship levels.
“It’s not a good time for football and I imagine there are a lot of nervous people out there at the moment.
“Hopefully they can get to the bottom of it and clear it all up.
“I think the levels that it [the investigation] is targeting is the Premier League and top Championship clubs where the money is enormous.
“It is important that this gets flushed out because it doesn’t do the credibility of the majority of people in football any good.
“Regardless, whether it is entrapment or whatever, it shouldn’t be there. We get paid contracts to work, and it’s honest money – from supporters’ pockets – which is going out of football. It’s disappointing it does happen, but I am not surprised.”
The Blades travel to Fleetwood Town tomorrow looking to extend their six-match unbeaten run in League One. Midfielder Chris Basham is suspended, but Jake Wright and James Wilson are pushing for recalls.
The Blades are keen to sign defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell – on a season-long loan from Wolverhampton – to a permanent deal.
The 23-year-old is yet to appear in a losing side for United, his arrival coinciding with their unbeaten run, and Wilder wants to secure a permanent move in January.
“There are discussions going on between us and Ethan all the time, and they will ramp up towards January,” said Wilder.
“He has been outstanding for us, the supporters have taken to a player who is fully committed and wants to win.
“We are talking all the time, but we can’t do anything right now.
“There are things underway that hopefully can go forward with.”