Sheffield United: It’s a long haul for Blades

Julian Winter, Sheffield United chief executive, one of the men at the head of the managerial search process

Julian Winter, Sheffield United chief executive, one of the men at the head of the managerial search process

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The Sheffield United hierarchy are in Portugal right now. Purely business of course.

It’s the Football League’s annual meeting where chairmen, chief executives and any other club big cheeses gather in the sun at this time of the year.

Therefore, with the main men at the club not around to man the fort, it would appear unlikely the Blades will unveil their new manager in the next couple of days.

Not that the new man himself will be unfamiliar with the Iberian peninsula. United have conducted interviews in Spain.

Although days seem to have dragged on, turning into weeks, patient United followers can console themselves that the club is almost there.

A long process, yes. But unless you know who you want and land him straightaway, there is every prospect of matters dragging on when you have several candidates. And the more there are, the more checking needs to be done.

Everyone needs fitting in. With Stuart McCall, United obviously felt they had to wait until Motherwell played their final league game. There are family holidays that interfere.

All the while, the media guessing game goes on. Largely well informed. United’s non-committal on naming names is understandable. It is supposed to be a confidential process.

Some, a touch disturbingly, have turned them down. McCall, Karl Robinson, Gareth Southgate, we gather. But that can all be part of the process.

United, supposedly seeking to modernise their football structure, will have outlined their philosophy of how they want to play, the type of football they expect.

If they want youth integrating along the way, the new man will have to buy into that.

Even now, United won’t say when they’ll be revealing. But it won’t be long.

And if someone spills the beans in Portugal, it might well be out before the announcement!