Former Blades favourite Wilder returns on a contract until the summer of 2025. Alan Knill, Matt Prestridge and former Republic of Ireland international Keith Andrews will assist Wilder and all will be in the technical area for Wednesday’s home fixture against Liverpool FC.
Wilder said, “Quite simply it was an opportunity which I just couldn’t turn down. Just like in 2016, when this club comes calling, it is not something you pass up.”
“This is Sheffield United, it is my team and I am thrilled to be back. We find ourselves in a difficult position, I understand that, but I think I can make a difference.”
“When I received the call from Stephen (Bettis) asking if I would consider coming back to try and help, I didn’t have to think about it. People know what this club means to me, and the task now is to try and provide a boost to improve our current situation.”
“My relationship with Prince Abdullah and the board was repaired a long time ago. After some time passed following my initial departure, we spoke, met in person and there was an amicable ending. Now, coming back as manager, to know there is a united front again is crucial as we look to work together to improve the club’s position in the Premier League.”
United’s chief executive officer, Stephen Bettis, added: “Following discussions, the board feel that Chris Wilder is the best possible option to give the Blades a change in fortune at this time and everyone at the club is delighted to welcome him back.”
“His love for United and desire to improve the current situation is undeniable, added to the fact that he knows the majority of the squad and the club’s DNA, which will help him hit the ground running.”
Wilder’s association with Sheffield United started as a player back in 1986 and he would go on to make 126 appearances across two spells.
After ending his playing career in 2001, he began his managerial journey at Alfreton Town. His initial success earned him a move to Halifax Town, and he also had spells at Oxford United and Northampton Town before he landed the Blades job in 2016.
In his first season at Bramall Lane, he guided United to the League One title and more success followed in 2019 when the Blades finished second in the Championship to mark a return to the Premier League, with Wilder picking up the prestigious LMA Manager of the Year award.
An unforgettable first season back in the top-flight followed as Sheffield United just missed out on a European spot, finishing in ninth position during a campaign hit by Covid-19. After leaving United in 2021, Wilder has had spells with FC Middlesbrough and Watford FC.