Sheffield United have confirmed Chris Wilder as their new manager on a three-year deal.
Bramall Lane’s board of directors, were this morning granted permission to hold talks with Wilder and his assistant Alan Knill, and having reached agreement with all parties confirmed the appointment this evening.
Co-Chairman, in a statement on the club website said: “We are delighted to appoint Chris, he has a fantastic reputation. He understands the ethos of our club and is a modern 21st century manager.
“We are aware that Chris is popular with the supporters, however, this is not a sentimental appointment, he has a proven track record and is hungry to bring success to the Blades.
“He has a vision of success, knows what is required by the supporters and we will assist him as much as we can. Early talks have been positive and we look forward to a new era at Bramall Lane.”
Wilder and Knill, who led Northampton to promotion last season, both had release clauses written into their respective contracts and United effectively triggered these before receiving the green light from chairman Kelvin Thomas.
Wilder, a former United defender, started his coaching career with Alfreton Town in October 2001 and lifted four trophies before taking charge of Halifax Town a year later. Despite the club’s serious financial issues, Wilder led Halifax into the Conference play-off final; a feat he would later repeat at Oxford United.
Having led them back into the Football League, the 48-year-old then saved Northampton from relegation. After a period of consolidation, The Cobblers finished 13 points clear of their nearest rivals in League Two last term, despite serious financial issues behind the scenes.
Knill, aged 51, is also vastly experienced having managed Rotherham United, Bury, Scunthorpe United and Torquay before becoming Wilder’s assistant at Northampton in January 2014. Curiously, this was a case of ‘roles reversed’ as Wilder had earlier been Knill’s number two at Gigg Lane.
United consulted with the League Managers’ Association before ending Nigel Adkins’ tenure earlier today.
Also a former Scunthorpe manager, Adkins spent 11 months in South Yorkshire and admitted it “saddens me” to say goodbye.
His assistant Andy Crosby and first team coach Dean Wilkins have also parted company with United.