Scott Twine, Daniel Ballard, transfers and finances: Your Sheffield United questions answered

Hello and welcome to this week’s Yorkshire Live Sheffield United Q&A. The majority of Blades players reported back for pre-season this week and attention is now on preparations for the coming campaign.

The transfer window has also opened and United have been linked with a host of players. They are yet to see any new arrivals come through the door, but Oliver Burke is the subject of a move to Millwall.

The fixtures will be announced tomorrow morning and Paul Heckingbottom and his players will find out their opening day opponents as they look to get off to winning ways.

READMORE: Sheffield United waiting on key target after submitting significant bid for international player

Sheffield United fans have been submitting the questions they want answering this week and they center around transfers and finances.

Stephen Rowley: If we got £40m last year and are to get £35m this year why are we not buying players? Where has all the money gone?

NH: “The parachute payments have been set aside to take care of the Premier League hangover. Transfer fees are paid in facilities, there are some player contracts still reflective of their time in the top flight.

“This is not covered by Championship income alone. Parachute money is looking after that. The club can still buy players, they have a bid in at the moment for seven figures.”

Matt Orme: Why are we never first out of the blocks for signings? Is there cash for signings or do we have to sell first?

NH: “There is cash for signings and, as mentioned above, a bid has already gone in with a fee attached. A free agent has been approached also and offered terms, so United have made some moves without clearly waiting on departures.

“Frees also require signing-on fees, hence why they are free because the money goes to the player and not the club. You can sometimes sign a better player on loan than if you tried to sign permanently because you can spend more on his wages There is always cash for signings but fans think that unless it’s a transfer fee there’s no money involved.

“As a self-funding club it’s about being smart with the budget and getting the most out of it, loans from the Premier League is one way the club feels it can do that. But, those players don’t become available until after managers have named their 25-man squads so, like with Morgan Gibbs-White last season, you can understand the need to wait on that particular score.

“Should United accept a big bid for a player, then it speeds up the process naturally as you have more money to play with, but I don’t believe Paul Heckingbottom’s budget is dependent on that. I believe he already has it.

“The only thing that changes is he could get more money should a player, such as Sander Berge, leave, who you would expect would bring in a large amount.”

Chris Myers: Are we close to anything transfer wise? It’s gone eerily quite! When will the new kits be released?

NH: “Kits released early July. Have a few irons in the fire in terms of transfers but waiting for pieces of the puzzle to fall into place on some. Others they have lodged their interest and waiting for answers.”

Ben Roberts: Do you think Blades fans have a right to be frustrated with the lack of transfer activity so far? Feels like we’re standing still and it’ll be a repeat of last season with last-minute loans rather than being proactive.

NH: “I can understand the frustration. Early signings are an indication of a club on the front foot, late signings are reflective of a club chasing the window, which has been the case with United in the past. There are pros and cons to early and late work.

“The earlier you sign players the longer they have to settle in pre-season and for the manager and players to work with them. It helps you hit the ground running if they are the right players.

“Signings that are made at the last-minute, like last season, leave you behind the curve. There is normally an international window early in September and you’re looking at October before those players are truly up and running. The manager can be behind the eight-ball, which is why he would like them early.

“The decision to wait last year was justified with the signing of Gibbs-White. If you want the best fruit you don’t go to the supermarket at 10pm. But there could still be some available, so it’s a gamble to play that game and you will, ultimately, be judged over time on the success rate of that approach.

“The fact that bids are on the table suggests to me that the club this time is looking to strike that balance between getting some early while also understanding the need to wait for others.”

Daniel Stevens: Is there any interest in Scott Twine as being reported? If so, will it be dependent on departures as to whether we can afford?

NH: “There is interest in him and he was on their radar but they haven’t made a bid as it stands. In terms of his price being dependent on departures, if United were to sell a big player and he remain at MK Dons , it would certainly help.But we would be guessing on that.We don’t know Paul Heckingbottom’s budget and we don’t know what MK Dons are asking.

Sam Taylor: Heard a lot of talk about Beerschot’s Sebaoui and people suggesting we bring him in. Surely United will be prohibited from signing all of Beerschot’s star players?

NH: “Far from it. United World are keen to create this environment where players move between clubs. Sheffield United’s management team have already been offered players from within the group but they have rejected those. The manager has the final say and if he wanted the players that were offered he could have had them.”

Justin Rice: Stephen Bettis said recently about splitting the first team and the academy training bases. Where is the site that’s been proposed and is there a completion date?

NH: “The site is not far from their current base and completion date is a minimum of two years from the point where they get the green light due to the length of time it will take to design, get approval, build, etc.

Sander Berge, middle, away on international duty with Norway.

James Smith: Is there a Berge contingency (target)? And how much of the £25m+ will be made available if sold? Why was there no Beerschot friendly at Bramall Lane?

NH: “There will be a Berge contingency target, that’s how the recruitment team works. They will have players in mind ready to move quickly. It is not known how much of the money raised from a sale, should he leave this summer, will go to the manager but Stephen Bettis did say money would be made available to replace first team players who are sold.

“The Beerschot friendly is actually a good idea and I think it would be a great way for fans of both clubs to experience some of the other sides in United World. Not sure how easy that would be to do. Their season starts earlier and finishes earlier than United’s, so it would be about pre-season schedules being aligned but if possible, I think that can only be a good thing.

“It would offer Heckingbottom the chance to watch Beerschot players up against his own and any possible youngsters in the United team that could be of interest the other way.”

Matthew Hughes: “Is the ‘seven-figure bid’ United have made for Daniel Ballard at Arsenal and is it Millwall the team with the option?

NH: “No, the player is from abroad. They are interested in Ballard, but the transfer that the club is having to wait on is not in this country.”

Keith Twigg: What is the current situation regarding the injury to JOC? I’m in no doubt that he had remained injury free he would have been a permanent member of the England squad.

NH: “I agree on the latter. Paul Heckingbottom will give us an update on his progress this week, so we’ll hopefully know more then.”

Chris Hughes: “It appears much is yet to be done re training ground and funds available to improve. Much has been made of the loans against parachutes, which whilst not uncommon is a cause for concern long term.”

NH: “The loans against parachutes are just a quicker way of accessing guaranteed longer-term funding. The transfer fee facilities will be date specific so United will need to make sure that money is in the bank ready. I don’t see it as a major issue.

“The training ground and other issues are a concern and many would like to see quicker progress but, as I keep pointing out, as a self-funding club these things take a lot longer when you have to prioritize spending.

“Unless the club gets access to Premier League money once more, secures major investment or accepts a big transfer offer, they may have to wait. The club agrees they need doing, that’s not in doubt. When, how quickly and how it’s financed are the issues.”


Sheffield United in talks with Championship rivals over permanent move for out-of-favor striker

Daniel Ballard’s ‘amazing’ Arsenal comeback story and what he could offer Sheffield United

Sheffield United watching Huddersfield Town transfer development as defender boost on horizon

Sheffield United board member makes Iliman Ndiaye contract claim as three players identified

Get the latest Sheffield United headlines and transfer news from Yorkshire Live right here


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.