Sheffield United contract U-turn caused by prospective takeover – Is investment closer than we realise?

Chris Wilder initially wanted versatile midfielder Ben Osborn to stay at the club as the club appeared to be willing to exercise the player’s 12 month option in his contract. However, some interesting news emerged on Thursday evening when Alan Nixon claimed that the Blades have not decided against triggering that option.

This has since sparked an ongoing debate because of the 29-year-old’s ability to cover three or four positions in the team, and at Championship level, for a team that is needing double figure signings this summer, it would make perfect sense to keep the experienced utility player around.

While people can agree that he is not the most technically gifted player, he does have a high work rate – which cannot be said for some of the current crop.

Now, it is being reported by The Star that the prospective new owners, a consortium from Silicon Valley, are indeed the reason behind this apparent U-turn in terms of releasing/retaining Ben Osborn.

A Silicon Valley group were linked with Sheffield United around this time last year, and although they did show interest no bid was ever made. This could be for many reasons.

Ben Osborn has been forced to play on the left side of the defence due to Sheffield United’s lack of depth in that position.

Sheffield United releasing Ben Osborn signals investment is coming

This to me suggests this takeover is much further down the line than supporters and the media have anticipated. The fact they have made an executive decision like this suggests not only is their interest concrete, they must be willing to back Chris Wilder in the transfer market.

If a football club’s transfer budget was tight during a mass rebuild, any smart rebuild would include keeping a utility player such as Osborn; with his ability to cover multiple positions you can effectively save yourself from having to sign an extra two or three players this summer.

Has the American group been in the background all this time?

I do find it intriguing that the American group did show firm interest in taking over the football club but did not table a bid. And then months later the Blades announce significant changes such as starting work on a new training facility, investing into the hotel on Bramall Lane to get it open later this year, and acquiring the land around the stadium.

It’s almost like the American consortium told the club they will only proceed with the takeover if these plans were put into place.

The proposed takeover could also be the reason as to why Sheffield United have left it until the final possible day to announce their release and retained list.

When you heard Chris Wilder speak over the final month of the season he remained upbeat and almost excited about this upcoming transfer window. Could it be those within the club have known that investment is coming this summer and that this Silicon Valley group have been the catalyst for these recent infrastructure plans put in place?

Tags Ben Osborn Contract Takeover


  1. Regarding the last sentence – I would be very excited if this were true. Could this also be the explanation for lack of investment in the first team last season, to ensure financial stability this season whether in premier League or championship before buying?

  2. If the manager says Osborn is staying then prospective buyers who haven’t been approved yet can overrule him I’d suggest the manager hasn’t got much say in anything and will be out the door soon.(one bit of good news).as for redevelopment of the kop,why when the present capacity hasn’t been reached for long enough. LOOKS LIKE A BIRMINGHAM CITY SENARIO

  3. It could be a blessing in disguise to let Osborn go . He has been as unfit as any of them this season . He is not skilful enough even for the Championship . It’s no good having the work rate when you run about like a headless chicken . It should free up a place for a better quality of player hopefully.

  4. What a bag of whoo arr team will be made up of loanees & academy no what’s coming wilder can blame investment not his tactics

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