Alan Biggs: Blades boss won’t be an online Twit

Sheffield United manager David Weir
Sheffield United manager David Weir

Sheffield United players beware: your next tweet might be read by the one bloke you might not wish to see it.

Or expect to see it. Your boss!

The Blades’ move to place the accent on youth under David Weir will, you’d imagine, only serve to increase the social media buzz around Bramall Lane.

But Weir is the last person to order a ban - as he’s one of the few managers actually on Twitter.

Which creates an interesting contrast with his opposite number across the city who calls it the “scourge of football.”

Weir is, of course, alive to the problems a mere 140 characters can leave in their on for a warning to his new charges.

But the former Everton and Glasgow Rangers defender is a confirmed timeliner.

Why? “It’s because I’m nosey,” the new Blades boss told me this week.

Another warning, then, to his players!

“I like to find out what’s going on so I use Twitter for information,” Weir added.

But he’s more of an ear than a voice, using the social media as a monitoring device.

As for his players: “Well, you have to show them a degree of trust and I believe in treating them as adults as far as possible.

Them being on Twitter is not a problem, it’s how they use it.

“I’ll be getting the message across that it has to be used in a responsible manner.”

Sorry to disappoint, but you won’t find Weir talking out of turn or revealing his next signing.

Not that this will stop anyone following @davidgweir, as more than 48,000 people do already.

It still seems more than a touch out of character that this very private man would go within a million characters of it.

But engaging in this way is a further sign of an open mind and a determination to succeed.

Weir is courteous, calm, quietly spoken and thoughtful, a real gent.

This, however, should not be mistaken for a soft touch.

Because, as his career as a centre half would indicate, we are speaking here of a man of steel.

* The father of four (three boys and a girl between the ages of seven and 13) is single-minded about the game.

“I love it,” he says.

“I loved playing, I love being involved in it and I love my job.

“My hobbies are football and family.”

There’s certainly little time for anything else as Weir commutes from the family home in Lancashire.

He’s yet to decide whether to move to the Sheffield area but “doesn’t see it as an issue either way.”

Milan shows some sense

Those who rub their hands in anticipation of a sale of Sheffield Wednesday forget one very important detail... it’s no longer possible to buy your way to success.

Yes, like any other rules, football’s Financial Fair Play regulations are there to be broken.

But the penalties - transfer embargoes etc. - look prohibitive enough to me.

In the Championship, it means that clubs have to operate on a break-even basis from this season - whatever the personal wealth of their owners who are restricted to investing in a club’s infrastructure over and above the new limits on playing budget.

So those Owls fans - albeit a very small minority - who urge Milan Mandaric either to “put his hand in his pocket” (as if he hasn’t done enough of that already) or sell up are missing the point.

It follows that football must look to embrace a new type of owner. Those who wish to throw in enough cash to catapult a club into the Premier League need not apply. The job requires traditional business sense.

You might feel Wednesday already have that in the way Mandaric runs the place after investing more than £20m to put Hillsborough back on something close to an even keel.

Talks with a number of interested parties are continuing but Mandaric’s enthusiasm for the place is running so high that it would take well in excess of that figure to tempt him.

History lesson is a success

The old joke runs that if you ask anyone what they think about football in Sheffield they are likely to say: “It would be a good idea!”

Good job we can laugh at ourselves, eh? Then again, you could have applied that statement to last week’s “Sheffield Home of Football Day” and reacted with an entirely straight face.

The re-enactment of original 1858 Sheffield Rules games was not some kind of gimmick. Credit to the boys’ and girls’ teams from Sheffield schools who threw themselves into making it real.

What we saw - with some of the cruder aspects removed - was a cross between football, as we know it, and rugby. It demanded a wider range of skills and made for a highly entertaining spectacle.

I came away with these four words in my head: “What a good idea.”