Sport & Entertainment
GBR | Dec 5, 2023

Sheffield United sack Heckingbottom, former manager Wilder to return

/ Our Today

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Soccer Football – Premier League – Sheffield United v AFC Bournemouth – Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain – November 25, 2023 Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom before the match REUTERS/Molly Darlington/File Photo


Sheffield United parted ways with Paul Heckingbottom on Tuesday, and are set to bring back Chris Wilder as their new manager, the Premier League club’s owner Prince Abdullah said.

Heckingbottom is the first Premier League managerial casualty this term, although Wolverhampton Wanderers parted ways with Julen Lopetegui three days before the start of the season.

“Firstly, on behalf of the board of directors, I’d like to thank Paul for all of his efforts at Sheffield United, firstly as U23s manager before stepping up to take control of first-team duties,” United’s CEO Stephen Bettis said in a statement.

“His professionalism and dedication have been a credit to the club and I’m sure all Unitedites enjoyed the promotion-winning campaign.

“However, after slipping to the bottom of the table and a number of disappointing results and performances, it is felt that a change is needed to give the club a boost and every possible chance of remaining in the Premier League beyond this season.”

The club’s statement also said they hope to have a new manager in place before Wednesday’s game with Liverpool, and earlier, club owner Prince Abdullah said that former manager Wilder would be taking over.

“Yes (I have made the decision),” Prince Abdullah told Talk Sport.

“Chris has done great things for the club and in my opinion he’s the best guy on planet earth to take over the club right now in these circumstances.”

United are bottom of the table with just one win all season and have five points from 14 games.

Soccer Football – Championship – Watford v Birmingham City – Vicarage Road, Watford, Britain – March 14, 2023 Watford manager Chris Wilder Action Images/Ed Sykes/File Photo

They were handed an embarrassing 8-0 home thrashing by Newcastle United in September while lowly Burnley beat them 5-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Wilder managed United the club between 2016 and 2021, when he resigned with the club bottom of the Premier League, with Heckingbottom taking over as interim manager for the final 10 games of their relegation season.

Also a former player at the club, Wilder won two promotions in his first three season as manager at United, taking them from League One to the Premier League.

“Chris is practically an honour of the club, he’s part of Sheffield United history,” Prince Abudullah added.

“One thing I always like to do, not just in football but all of my businesses, is to keep a good relationship with my ex-employees no matter how it ended, I think you should get over it.”

By this point last year five managers had been removed from their posts: Scott Parker (Bournemouth), Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea), Bruno Lage (Wolves), Steven Gerrard (Aston Villa) and Ralph Hasenhuettl (Southampton).


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