Mal Brannigan, Sheffield United's managing director, is looking forward to Blades and rivals Wednesday making city a Premier venue

  OWLS ABOUT THAT:   United's Mal Brannigan

OWLS ABOUT THAT:  United's Mal Brannigan

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY in the Premier League?  Mal Brannigan, the Blades managing director, certainly hopes so.

Before you choke on your cornflakes, Brannigan's comments were delivered in a wider context. "In Sheffield we have two very large clubs within the city but we have the capacity and the support to have two Premier League teams," he told Yorkshire Business Insider magazine.

"Every club in every division wants to get to the Premier League," said Brannigan. "The number one aim is to get promoted, it has to be. We [Sheffield United] finished seventh then fifth, in squad terms we're sharper and will be pushing."

There are those from both sides of the divide in Sheffield who would gladly endorse the extinction of their rival club. The majority, like Brannigan, appreciate the importance of having two, strong clubs representing the city at the highest level. Providing United have the upperhand, few Blades would argue with that.

Brannigan agreed that Yorkshire's current status in football is underwhelming. "We have a strong heritage across Yorkshire in the top flight, with the two Sheffield clubs, Leeds and Hull more recently. There's then Middlesbrough too, and Bradford. They are all well supported clubs.

"We [Yorkshire] have a huge level of support, the fifth highest attendances in League One. We [United] are the 12th or 13th best supported club in the Football League.

The impact of having a club at the top level is more widely felt then simply for the supporters, Brannigan added.

He said: "The biggest benefit is that it raises the profile of the city and the economy. It brings a confidence to a city, it brings a confidence to the club and every business unit within it and creates a commercial vibrancy which spreads from the club to the wider community.

"We [United] are trying to continually build that confidence so we are ready for it when it [the Premier League] comes."