Blackwell: selling James Beattie “cost us promotion”

In the 2008/09 season, the Blades were flying high under Kevin Blackwell as the manager. James Beattie was on fire in front of goal, bagging 12 goals in the Championship, only for United to sell him on deadline day in the January transfer window.

Blackwell detailed what went on with the sale of the striker on the SheffUnitedWay podcast:

“Beats [Beattie] was very complimentary to me, and he felt that I got him back on track, after he struggled at Everton, and under Brian [Robson] to be fair. 

“But he was terrific around the club. I could not speak higher enough of him. And then he was banging goals in, and the next thing is, on deadline day in January we got a phone call from Stoke…Tony Pulis, and he ended up going to Stoke.”

WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 26: Kevin Foley of Wolves is challenged by James Beatatie during the Coca-Cola Championship match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United at Molineux Stadium on December 26, 2008 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

He added:

“It was a bitter blow. But when the club says they need the money, you know as a manager or a coach that you can’t just carry on and spend. Or if the club runs into problems, you have to sell players because of it. You can’t just put your head in a pillow and take no notice of it. You have to work for the club. And unfortunately the club felt that they needed the money.”

The talisman would sign a two and a half year contract with Stoke City, after United sold Beattie for a fee that could eventually rise to £3.5 million. Beattie would score 34 goals in 62 games across 2007-2009.

Blackwell went on to say that it was a decision made purely for financial reasons, “but one that cost us promotion”. Sheffield United finished that season 3rd, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion by 3pts.



Tags James Beattie Kevin Blackwell Past seasons Sheffield United