Sheffield United: Naming rights deal has knock-on effect

Joe Ironside, the Sheffield United centre-forward, seems destined for a successful future after progressing through the ranks at Bramall Lane
Joe Ironside, the Sheffield United centre-forward, seems destined for a successful future after progressing through the ranks at Bramall Lane
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Sheffield United’s decision to sell the naming rights to its Shirecliffe youth academy will help the club comply with its Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) obligations.

The League One club revealed it had brokered a two year agreement with entertainments firm Redtooth earlier this week which will pump an undisclosed sum into Bramall Lane’s coffers.

With SCMP prohibiting teams in the division from spending more than 60 per cent of their total turnover on wages next season, the deal could be the first of several agreements designed to give United’s new manager more room for manoeuvre in the transfer market.

Steve Coakley, United’s commercial director, said: “We have forged such an excellent relationship with Redtooth over the last 18 months or so.

“Particularly the involvement of Redtooth in the development of last season’s away kit was success and the shirt was very popular with supporters.

“The extension of Redtooth’s commercial activities with us takes their recent financial commitment with the club well into six figures and with the introduction of the Salary Cost Management Protocol it’s imperative we look beyond Bramall Lane to maximise our commercial revenue opportunities.”

Chief executive Julian Winter’s desire for United to become a sustainable business, coupled with new financial measures being adopted by the Football League, means Danny Wilson’s successor is likely to become increasingly reliant upon home-grown talent.

Rob Wilson, a football finance expert from Sheffield Hallam University, recently warned United must become “creative” and “imaginative” with sponsorship packages following last season’s play-off semi-final defeat by Yeovil Town.

“The Academy is a fantastic asset for Sheffield United and to have a well-known brand as Redtooth as a partner positions the club strongly to develop even more talented youngsters for the club on top of the 34 who have already graduated to first team football,” Winter said.

Joe Ironside, Callum McFadzean and Elliott Whitehouse enjoyed prominent roles en route to Huish Park after progressing through the ranks while George Long, another academy graduate, has been named in the England squad for next month’s FIFA under-20 World Cup.