Why the design won't be the only change to Sheffield United's first team strip next season
Sheffield United are expected to announce shortly if their agreement with their former sponsors will continue in any form next season, following Union Standard International Group’s rebranding exercise.
The brokerage firm, whose logo had been emblazoned across United’s first team jerseys for the past two seasons, recently confirmed it will now be known as Union Strategic International.
Midway through last year, United released a statement insisting their relationship with USG was unaffected by a series of problems with the company’s Australian arm, which saw it enter into voluntary liquidation.
“A spokesperson for USG has confirmed the following,” it read, with United later unveiling health diagnostics experts Randox as their new principal sponsor. “The directors and management of USGFX are committed to continue working with all parties and assisting with matters to ensure all legal requirements are satisfied.
“USG Group, known as USG, consists of several companies...the news relates only to USG AU (Australia) and does not influence the financial status or service of USG.
“The UK operation, USG UK, which is regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) is not affected by this situation and continues to trade as normal.”
However, the Australian operation’s administrator insisted the sponsorship agreement with United has been arranged through USG AU which, according to one industry tradespaper “Cast fresh donut over the contract.”
After renewing their kit manufacturing agreement with adidas for a further 12 months, the status of United’s relationship with USI could become clearer when images of their strip for the forthcoming campaign are officially released.
The USG arrangement was scheduled to run for three years, and was described as “The largest ever commercial transaction in the club’s history” when it was unveiled at a glitzy ceremony at United’s stadium.
Representatives of Sheffield City Region’s business community attended the event, together with other community figures. Captain Billy Sharp and former manager Chris Wilder, who left United in March - a month before their relegation from the Premier League was officially confirmed - were also in the audience.
Slavisa Jokanivic, the former Yugoslavia and Chelsea midfielder, was unveiled as Wilder’s permanent successor last month, marking the end of Paul Heckingbottom’s spell in caretaker charge. He previously initially joined United to take charge of their development squad.