New Sheffield United owner Prince Abdullah bin Mosa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Sa’ud has voiced his hope that Chris Wilder will be manager of the Blades for the long-term – after speaking of his positive working relationship with him.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday afternoon alongside Wilder, new chairman Prince Musa’ad bin Khalid bin Musa’ad Al Sa’ud and chief executive officer Stephen Bettis, Prince Abdullah spoke of his desire to progress the club further over the coming seasons under Wilder.
On whether Wilder is the man for the long-haul at Bramall Lane, Prince Abdullah, whose legal team emerged victorious from the High Court on Monday following his dispute for control of the club with former co-owner Kevin McCabe, said: “I think would be crazy if I said no and the last time I checked, I was not crazy!
“Of course, we are blessed to have Chris. More important than results is the way we play; it speaks for itself.
“Chris is the face of this great club and as the crowd like to say, he is ‘one of us’. I’ve good harmony with Chris and we will always work to get this team better.
“I hope that five years from now, things will be much better, with Chris taking us to a better place.”
On his relationship with Prince Abdullah, Wilder said: “I have been in contact all the way through the Prince’s time here as I have been with Kevin.
“Obviously, looking back, it has been a very successful time. I do not think if there were any problems from board to manager and manager to board, that we would have gained success.
“I do not need to tell everyone how much I love the club. I will always talk openly and honestly about the running of the football club. But the success we have had and even before is testament to support of both owners.
“In an obvious and ideal world and I am sure Prince Abdullah would say the same thing, as would Kevin McCabe, they would have wanted the outcome of the club being in the Premier League from where they were. It is an obvious disappointment that it has got to the situation it has (with the High Court situation).
“But I have got my head down with the supporters and Steve (Bettis)– and concentrated on my job – which is improving the first team and we have done that with the support of both owners.”
Prince Abdullah’s High Court victory over McCabe saw Mr Justice Fancourt stipulate that he will have to buy the club’s property assets from McCabe’s company Sheffield United Ltd – the Bramall Lane stadium, the adjoining Copthorne Hotel and the club’s Shirecliffe academy and the junior development centre on Crookes Road.
The Prince has reassured supporters that he will fulfil his obligations – even if in the ‘worst case scenario event of the club being relegated in May – with the new Blades supremo having to purchase the facilities by July 2020.
He said: “We have not agreed a price yet of these assets. I will handle it, I have no worries. It is very important that assets are joined with the club and that will be done.
“Hopefully it (relegation) will not come to that. But if it does, it is part of the risk you take and a responsibility you have and I will fulfil it.”