Sheffield United: Blades will give Weir the backing to mount a fight for promotion

Sheffield United FC announce that HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has become joint owner of the club
Sheffield United FC announce that HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has become joint owner of the club

Kevin McCabe says he wishes he could reveal the actual amounts but insists that both Jose Baxter and Florent Cuvelier cost Sheffield United more than they are receiving for Kevin McDonald.

Estimates of fees rising to or beyond £300,000 each - following McDonald’s £250,000 move to Wolves - show the level at which Prince Abdullah’s early investment is being pitched and the kind of youthful, ripe-for-development talent being pursued.

It follows that, amid a poor start to the season, the Blades are both obliged and committed to maintaining their belief and backing in David Weir as the club’s sixth “permanent” manager in as many years.

McCabe is clearly determined to take the long-term view and could become one of the last men standing in terms of local men owning the clubs they support. He and the Prince have referred jokingly to arguments developing from their equal partnership but compromise has to be a long way up the agenda.

You’d imagine that at this stage – should there be any suggestion to the contrary and right now there isn’t – McCabe would dig in behind the manager of his recent choice. That said, outside speculation is bound to mount unless there is an upturn soon, ideally starting at Carlisle tomorrow.

United have said that first-time promotion is not demanded of Weir but a challenge is expected. Despite suggestions to the contrary, Weir will embrace the Prince’s backing and also accept the extra pressures that go with it.

McCabe admits “the world has changed” when it comes to “the individual carrying the burden of ownership.” He explained: “You always want to do something that carries on the club’s future in a good way. You don’t go on forever and it’s not something you pass on to family members.”

That suggests the Prince could eventually head the playing side of the club rather than McCabe’s two sons.

United might now consider re-activating a loan interest in Doncaster’s Mark Duffy, the winger admits he is “frustrated” at being left on the fringe.