CLUB STATEMENT: "A decision has been made by the board of Sheffield United for Nigel to depart immediately. Nigel is a gentleman and, as proved by his record, a very good manager, but the overriding aim is promotion from League One and the Club feels that this is the correct time to make a change.
"We will now begin the process of bringing in a new manager. We hope to make an appointment very shortly, with promotion from this division once again the priority. This is a decision made jointly between the co-owners and is the result of discussions between board members and colleagues.
"We sincerely wish Nigel and his backroom staff, Andy Crosby and Dean Wilkins all the best for the future."
Mr Adkins commented: "I am proud and honoured to have been the manager of Sheffield United but saddened to leave after just one season. I am naturally very disappointed not to be able to continue the good work going on behind the scenes, which I am confident will be of benefit to the Club going forward. I wish the Club and the supporters the best of luck for the future."
Sheffield United will not make any further comment at this stage.
NIGEL ADKINS, sacked this morning, had a death wish. Not content with being responsible for one of the most miserable and pointless seasons fans from all generations can remember, the Sheffield United manager rushed in to add insult to injury, making his already vulnerable position untenable. Former player Chris Wilder, who guided Northampton Town to the League Two title is favourite to take over.
The club took it's decision to seek a ninth manager in as many years after Adkins hammered the final nail into his own coffin with an outrageous slur on some of the most loyal football fans in the country. The mask slipped just minutes after his team sleepwalked to their eighth defeat at home in what was the final fixture of the season. A comfortable 2-0 win for Scunthorpe United, cemented the Blades an unacceptable 11th-place finish. It also confirmed, if anyone had remaining doubts, that United have taken several giant strides backwards since Adkins arrived just less than a year ago.
So much so that chants of ‘You're not fit to wear the shirt’ and ‘sacked in the morning’ exploded from the Kop after Scunthorpe’s second goal went in. The club’s Board didn’t escape either. Never has their been such a disconnect between club, players and supporters in my 46 years of watching the Blades. And it all rests firmly in the hands of Mr United Together himself, Nigel Adkins. Football’s Frank Spencer, but this version of the classic sitcom character, isn’t remotely funny or half as clever as the TV script. He's been found out.
Having just led his ragbag outfit around an almost empty stadium on what was supposed to be a lap of appreciation but was in fact an embarrassing walk of shame after fans had voted with their feet, Adkins bereft of anything but pent-up vitriol, couldn’t resist.
“You’re going to be Blades. You’re always going to be Blades,” he said in a resigned tone.
“There’s maybe another club [Burton Albion] at this moment in time who’s been in League One who have just reached their heights at this moment in time. If you listen to a lot of the comments from a lot of the supporters there, they were with them at bad times. But they’re enjoying the good times.
“What we’ve got to do, eventually this football club will reach that level again. Time’s going to be the factor. Swapping and changing all the time that’s not going to get us anywhere.”
He added: “I know what it means to supporters. They vented their…er well since the day we’ve joined actually. It’s been like that since the very first day of the season against Gillingham.”
For the record after the 4-0 opening day defeat for which more than 2,000 Blades made the trip to Kent, Adkins said: “We weren’t nearly good enough. It’s just a shame on a glorious day like this we’ve had so many great supporters come down and we’ve let them down.” Strange United fans who were “great” that day are in fact whingers and always have been.
Adkins continued his attack with a complete fabrication, saying: “I’ve come here with today’s opposition for example, Scunthorpe United who have just missed out on the play-offs today. I’ve come with them. I’ve come here previously as a visiting manager and you know what the atmosphere is going to be like here at Sheffield United. It always has been and maybe always will be. That’s the nature of it.”
So now we know. That much heralded ‘positivity’ is in fact arrogance. The arrogance of a man who has failed to deliver on absolutely everything since he has been at Bramall Lane. Nothing more than a dodgy second hand car salesman, living on past deals who will tell you anything to clinch a sale.
When there’s nothing left to say, no more excuses, he lashes out at the club’s loyal and long-suffering fans. Disillusioned supporters who despite having to stomach a sixth season in the third tier of English football, have already renewed more than 11,500 season tickets. Adkins, with comments likes these, isn’t fit to lace their shoes.
Likewise, when asked to explain the rationale behind a half-time substitution of the vastly over-rated and error-prone on loan midfielder Dean Hammond, Adkins didn’t feel it was necessary to stoop to the level of answering the question. Regular observer will know why.
“I don’t think I need to explain any decisions I make on substitutions. I’m doing what I believe is right for the good of the team,” said a poe-faced Adkins who has waxed lyrical about Hammond all season.
Against Scunthorpe, Hammond had a particular stinker, gave away possession which led to the visitors going ahead and minutes laster almost did the same again. His replacement at the beginning of the second half was met with the biggest cheer of the day and rightly so.
The unhappy truth is that Adkins was a disastrous appointment. He has gradually lost all credibility during a season which has been a waste of everyone’s time and money. He has undergone the longest induction course in history and despite bringing nothing to the club, apart from striker Billy Sharp, expects his employers and fans alike to accept that he is still the man to bring Championship football back to the Lane. Who in their right mind could trust him? He hasn’t done anything to earn it.
Ever the smart alec, Adkins of “Wisdom of Geese’ fame, looked pleased with himself after pulling another adage out of the bag in the build-up to Barnsley’s goalless visit last month. “Pressure,” he informed the Press conference, “produces gems”.
In true slapstick fashion since he uttered those words, United have slumped to two defeats and a draw, conceding five goals, scoring one and dropping eight points. Indeed, had they responded to the pressure and won all three – two of them at home – United would be now in the play-offs. Gems? More like tacky jewellery bought on the street market.
ViewFromTheJohnStreet.Com has been constructively critical but never promoted the sacking of Adkins. Evan after last Sunday’s abysmal events I thought, given recent history, that he deserved at least until the end of October to demonstrate he’s not all hot air. His attack on the fans changed all that. As it did for those waverers on the Board.
United supporters, me included, thought that Negative Nigel (who was sacked for what went on behind the scenes) had been replaced by Positive Nigel. A man who had won three promotions from League One and knew what he was doing. Apart from the CV, it wasn't true.
What we got was cocky, arrogant, clutching at straws, love-the-sound-of-my-own-voice Nigel. A man who took a suspect squad which nonetheless reached two cup semi-finals and a play-off semi-final, added a 21-goal striker and managed to guide it down to 11th. That takes some incompetence.
Adkins is quick to remind anyone prepared to listen that he has a clear plan. Well, Nigel, after almost a year in charge 20,000 Blades fans have yet to see it. That's why you're taking it to the job centre.