Bigger crowds than Wednesday, promotion hopes until mid-April and a manager who’s one of their own. What could possibly go wrong for Sheffield United?
After a season of high hopes, full-on football and harmony between fans and club, cracks are showing. Public questioning of boardroom battles by a team’s manager are rarely a good sign.
For a man like Chris Wilder to think about walking away from the club he loves after two years of real progress is the stuff of Unitedite nightmares and a worrying echo of past boardroom intrigues. But after two seasons of endeavour, unity and commitment to winning matches Wilder is having to address splits within the club’s ownership.
And it’s all being noted.
Sunderland has not been a name to strike fear into any fans’ hearts - except their own - for years now.
But after a weekend when Wilder spoke the unthinkable and a potentially huge club like Sunderland cleared their debts, brought in new owners and parted company with manager Chris Coleman, the Wearsiders look back in the game.
Let’s say you are the new owner of a once-mighty team with a huge and fanatical fan-base and money to spend, who would you be looking at to get you promoted?
Only Neil Warnock is a better bet than Wilder and he’s 70 this year.
Unless Cardiff City miss out on promotion and decide that Warnock has ‘taken us as far as he can’ then Wilder is the man Sunderland will be looking at.
Time to sort things out in the Bramall Lane boardroom.
*It cost £750m to build Wembley and they’re selling it for £600m, that’s the FA right there in a right-move nutshell.
Or wrong move in this case. £600m is a lot of 3G pitches, community coaches and floodlights and if it allows us to produce more and better players then standards will rise.
But if we’re paying rent to play at Wembley then it’s time to resurrect the ‘neutral grounds’ FA Cup semi-final.
How much of the FA’s sell-out stash would it take to make Hillsborough a top, modern ground again? Likewise Villa Park, Elland Road and other old-school giant stadiums that have fallen on harder times. There is more to grass roots football than trying to produce even MORE kids for elite clubs. We can actually re-invest some of that cash back into the soul of the English game.
Unless the FA have already flogged that off too.