Chris Wilder: Sheffield United manager signs new deal until 2024
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Last Updated: 10/01/20 7:22pm
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract at the club, with the option for an additional year.
Wilder, 52, was appointed in 2016 by his boyhood club and led them from League One to the Premier League, with two promotions in his first three seasons in charge.
After securing the club's return to the top flight for the first time since 2007, Wilder was handed a new three-year deal in July and was named LMA Manager of the Year.
In a statement on the club's official website, Wilder said: "Naturally, I'm delighted to sign a new deal until 2024 and commit to the club that is close to my heart.
"I am grateful to [Sheffield United's owner] Prince Abdullah for taking the initiative and offering this contract, we've had a great few years and hopefully we can continue the upward curve. Let's see how far we can go on this journey."
'Wilder has earned it'
Speaking ahead of Friday's game against West Ham, Prince Abdullah told Sky Sports: "We're very excited. He [Wilder] has been a big part of the club's success and stability is very important.
"We're very happy with Chris' record and we are looking forward to another four-and-a-half years.
"He has earned it. The most important thing at any club is having the right manager."
Asked what his ambitions are for the club, Prince Abdullah joked: "We want to be the best United."
He added: "We want to establish ourselves as a Premier League club, which is where we deserve to be."
Wilder's assistant Alan Knill has also signed a new contract at the club.
Sheffield United are currently eighth in the Premier League having won seven of their 21 games and can climb to fifth with a win over West Ham on Friday, live on Sky Sports.
'Best piece of January business for Blades'
Analysis from Sky Sports' Kate Burlaga:
The January transfer window might have several weeks left to run but this is the piece of business Sheffield United fans wanted.
A new long-term deal for Wilder certainly offers the club protection when it comes to the value of a man who has justifiably attracted interest from elsewhere after transforming the fortunes of his boyhood club; Aston Villa and Brighton - two sides trailing the Blades in the table - were swift in committing their managers to new contracts.
Wilder's four-and-a-half-year deal is richly-merited reward for the remarkable progress of two promotions in three seasons, followed by the swaggering style in which his team have taken to the top flight. He has delivered tactically innovative football on a modest budget, elevated individuals within the tightest of units, and spectacularly reconnected a drifting club with its supporters.
But, in the aftermath of a bitter court case that saw Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdullah gain sole control of the club at the expense of local businessman Kevin McCabe, this is a move with symbolic significance for a new era off the pitch, as well as on it; a statement of intent from a new chief who says Wilder's signature "underpins all the plans we have for the club over the next few years".
Those words are certain to please the Blades boss, whose short-term focus is strengthening his squad in this window but whose eyes are always set firmly ahead. Ruthless and relentless, as he would put it, Wilder is a planner whose fierce ambition is to create a legacy at Bramall Lane - improvements to the stadium, training ground and academy - as well as establishing Sheffield United as a Premier League mainstay.
"Let's see how far we can go on this journey," was the message from a man who quite simply is the Blades' greatest asset. With Wilder at the helm, a thrilling ride looks set to continue.