Blades: New Sheffield United chief promising tough checks on any would-be investors

On-going search:  United MD Dave McCarthy.
On-going search: United MD Dave McCarthy.

DAVE McCarthy, Sheffield United’s managing director, has reassured supporters that potential investors will be intensely scrutinised before being invited to join the South Yorkshire club.

Kevin McCabe, United’s plc chairman and major shareholder, is believed to have rejected offers from several folk willing to provide funding after concluding the deals being proposed were not conducive to the long term well-being of Bramall Lane.

But, having publicly admitted that he wants to unearth an individual or consortium ready to “share the financial burden” of running the team, McCabe is continuing to field calls from would-be partners.

“Investment is an ongoing search,” said McCarthy. “And before anything gets done it has to satisfy Kevin McCabe and his family.

“They want what’s best for United. They don’t want to do something in haste that turns out to be wrong further down the line.”

United hired Trevor Birch to spearhead their search for fresh revenue but the 53-year-old, who brokered Roman Abramovich’s takeover of Chelsea in July 2003, resigned his position as chief executive last month.

However, he is continuing to advise United in transfer matters and has granted them access to his extensive list of contacts.

Having initially explored several leads in North America, Birch is understood to have focused on the Far East during the final 12 months of his reign.

Given the fault lines which split the global financial market, United continue to view its emerging economies as the most likely source of new funds.

“There are always nibbles on the line,” added McCarthy.

“But, I think it’s fair to say that in terms of investment now, there probably isn’t a lot of choice.

“Nevertheless, we are an attractive proposition.”

Meanwhile, manager Danny Wilson has confirmed United will alter their training schedules during next month’s visit to Malta in an effort to cope with intense

heat on the Mediterranean island.

Temperatures in Valletta, just across the water from the squad’s base at Sliema, were expected to nudge 30 degrees Celsius yesterday and, speaking to the club’s official website, the manager said: “It’s going to be a very tough week

in Malta and as everyone knows it is going to be really hot.

“The training schedule will reflect that and we will be starting really early and finishing late.”

United face Sliema Wanderers at Ta Qali and Hibernians at Paola Stadium on Monday 18 and Wednesday 20 respectively.

Both kick-off at 6.30pm.

United, who

arrive in Malta on July 14, plan to arrange events for fans to meet both coaching staff and players during their stay.

They beat Hibernians, who are managed by former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Mark Miller, in last year’s JPL Cisk Lager Cup.

Wanderers have won the Maltese Premier League title more times than any other club.

United face Sheffield FC and Worksop Town before heading south and Wilson, who has pledged to try to shed Bramall Lane’s long-ball image, said: “The early part of pre-season is about getting players some time on the pitch and gaining some understanding.

“There isn’t too much put on the physical side of things.

“It is more about work ethic and getting minutes under your belt.”

McCarthy said: “We are delighted to be going back to Malta as we have always had really good experiences on our previous visits.

“I hope some of our fans will visit the island and go and watch the lads train and play.”