Winter wants homegrown talent

Bramall Lane: Blades to focus on nurturing youth

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Sheffield United will put the emphasis on nurturing homegrown talent as they prepare to operate on a reduced playing budget.

New manager David Weir will have less money to spend on strengthening the squad this summer than predecessor Danny Wilson had in the previous two seasons, but chief executive Julian Winter insists the Blades will still be competitive in the transfer market.

"The club wants to get promoted back into the Championship as soon as possible," Winter said.

"We won't have the biggest playing budget in League One next season. We have been. Two years ago (we did) and I think the second highest budget last year.

"I've said before the club needs to cut its cloth because we can't continue to operate under a benefactor model on an on-going basis.

"But we'll have a competitive budget suffice to say in League One. We want to get into the Championship as quickly as possible.

"People who operate under a benefactor model operate with a comfort blanket around them and my challenge as chief executive is to change that.

"We have a very strong owner in Kevin McCabe, who has put significant amounts of money into the club. Kevin's not going anywhere, but the club has to start operating on a more sustainable level. Simple fact.

"And from a footballing philosophy point of view we have to have a clear single philosophy through the academy right the way through into the first team that helps this target we all talk about of producing more homegrown players.

"It's about people understanding the club's direction, having a clear and consistent plan and everybody working towards the same ends."