Sheffield United prepared for several player exits after relegation

SHEFFIELD UNITED owner Prince Abdullah has confirmed that some Blades players have clauses in their deals allowing them to leave if the club are relegated.

GONE: Former Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder. Picture: Shaun Botterill/PA

In a wide-ranging interview with Sky Sports News, Prince Abdullah also claimed that former manager Chris Wilder wanted to resign twice and requested a £4m severance package to leave prior to his actual exit on March 13.

With the Blades almost certain to go down in 2020-21, attention is now switching to Wilder’s successor and next term and while players are likely to depart, the core of the squad will stay intact, according to the Prince.

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He said: “Some of the players have clauses in their contracts, so that if they get a certain offer, they can leave. We cannot do anything about that. But I can assure you that our first purpose is to get back to the Premier League.

Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“I think we have a great advantage. If you look at the Championship table, Watford and Norwich City are leading and Bournemouth are not far away.

“If we get an offer to sell one player, if we don’t have replacements, we will bring them. But our intention is to keep the core team. Staying in the Championship will not make us any money and is not the right place for a club as big as Sheffield United.”

On Wilder’s exit, he added: “Chris explained why he wanted to resign. He said that he felt the team needed a change, a new voice. We were very clear and said we don’t want to fire you but if you want to resign, you can, but we will not pay you the same money as if we were firing you.

“The emails started between his representatives and our financial guy and we were astonished to find he had asked for £4m to resign.

“We said: ‘No way are we going to pay you £4m, you are resigning, we are not firing you, why would we have to pay almost one year’s salary?’”

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