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Interviews

Boss on contracts and finishing the season

24 April 2020

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Chris Wilder isn't worried about the contractual situation of his playing staff, given the Covid-19 pandemic that is affecting the UK and countries around the world at present.

The Blades boss has confirmed talks over potential new long-term deals for his prized assets are now on the backburner and Wilder says extensions for those out of contract at the end of June will take care of themselves, as and when the Premier League season resumes.

He remarked: "I am sure that my players, the out of contract ones, if asked to extend their contracts will do that and if they don't then they are not part of us going forward. It's a pretty straightforward decision.

"I have Phil Jagielka out of contract and if I spoke to Jags and said we are going to extend your contract by a month, it's up to you. I know 100 per cent what his decision will be. That is the whole point of having good people at the football club and if people don't want to be part of it, I will make that decision for them.

"Contract talks have been put on hold, I don't think it's right for players and agents to talk to us about contracts with the situation we're going through, things like that can quickly be picked up and I'm sure they will be.

"I don't think it would be right to announce player contract improvements with the financial impact this situation is having on the economy, with what it's doing to small and big businesses."

And the Blades boss just wants to finish the season when it is safe to do so, regardless of hectic schedules and the possibility of playing behind closed doors or at neutral venues.

Wilder continued: "Just let's get the games completed and get the good news out there. I've heard some people moaning about playing two games a week, but if it's two games a week, it's two games a week, we did it in the Championship and in League One.

"Recovery, nutrition, sport science, the attention to detail, it gives the players the opportunity of going on a Saturday, a Tuesday and a Saturday.

"If it's at a neutral venue, why not, as long as we get back out there playing and give everybody a focus and purpose on our way back to normality."

The United chief has also praised the togetherness of other local clubs at this incredibly testing time, with many joining the Blades by projecting images in and around their stadiums thanking the NHS and frontline workers on Thursday evening.

He concluded: "It's unprecedented and in this region, we're blessed with outstanding football clubs that mean a lot to the community.

"It isn't just about United and Wednesday, the whole region from Rotherham to Barnsley to Chesterfield to Doncaster, people have got a lot of pride about their football Clubs."


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