Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has departed the club by mutual consent.
The side sit bottom of the Premier League with just four wins from 28 games, and look certain to be relegated this campaign.
Wilder has been in charge at Bramall Lane since May 2016, guiding them from the third-tier League One to the Premier League and their highest-ever finish of ninth last season.
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He was a boyhood fan of the club, going from a ballboy to a player and finally returning as manager, and was widely popular with fans.
But he has spent months fighting with the club hierarchy over recruitment plans, with the club seeking to reduce his influence on signings and focus more on first-team management.
According to reports, Wilder was the driving force behind the signings of Aaron Ramsdale (£18m) and Rhian Brewster (£23m) in the offseason, both of who have struggled. In fact, United has spent more than £70m since January 2020 – but Wilder has repeatedly spoken of his disappointment with the team.
The recruitment policy hit a fresh low when no loan deals were struck in January despite clear needs in the squad.
“Being manager of Sheffield United has been a special journey and one I’ll never forget,” said Wilder.
“I was delighted to be given the opportunity back in 2016 and have been delighted with the success which we have achieved, including two promotions and a highest ever Premier League finish.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Club’s accomplishments along the way, including the players, staff and, in particular, the supporters.”
His managerial peers have offered plenty of praise in recent days for Wilder.
Sam Allardyce said: “If you look across whole of leagues in this country, you will not see a better record than Chris Wilder. He has had one bad season in 19 years. Great shame.”