Adkins appointment makes a statement, insists Phipps

Jim Phipps, co-chairman of Sheffield United, last night insisted the appointment of Nigel Adkins as manager represented a statement of intent by the League One club.

Adkins was unveiled at a hastily convened media briefing in London after agreeing a three year contract yesterday.

United received over 50 applications for a vacancy created when they parted company with Nigel Clough towards the end of last month following United’s play-off semi-final defeat.

But Phipps, outlining the qualities which saw the former Southampton and Scunthorpe chief quickly emerge as the leading candidate, said: “The first thing we looked for was someone who had overcome the challenge we are facing as a football club.

“Who has done what we want to do which is get promoted.

“Nigel has done it three times over. If you compiled a checklist of what we wanted and need to progress and move forward then I think it’s fair to say he ticks every single box.”

“Nigel has got a style about him but, even more importantly, there is real substance to him too,” Phipps added.

“The fact we’ve being able to get someone in of his calibre, and that he wanted to join us, says a lot about this football club.”

Phipps joined Kevin McCabe at the head of United’s board when HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Mosaad Abdulaziz Al Saud became President of the General Presidency for Youth Welfare, Saudi Arabia’s equivalent to Minister for Sport, last summer.

Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad acquired a 50 per cent stake in United and Phipps, his principal advisor, added: “The style of play was also vitally important.

“We wanted to bring someone in who can really enthuse the fans with how they like to go about things.

“I think it’s fair to say that Nigel, who is a very positive and enthusiastic individual, has a proven track record of doing exactly that.”