By Ben Hall
Sheffield United have unveiled Stephen Bettis as the club’s new chief executive.
Co-owner Kevin McCabe announced the appointment last night, which follows the decision to hand Chris Wilder the managerial reigns last week.
In a statement posted on the club’s website, McCabe stated that Bettis will “lead our off-the-field activities and liaise closely with manager Chris Wilder.”
Bettis is a qualified accountant and worked as a Finance Director and majority shareholder in a Property Investment and Development Company, which invested heavily across Europe. He is no stranger to the club though having worked as an advisor at Bramall Lane since the departure of managing director Mal Brannigan during a major boardroom reshuffle in December 2015.
Fans immediately took to social media and the club’s forums to express their concerns over the appointment. Many appeared worried with Bettis’ lack of a footballing background, and failure to properly understand the on-field needs of the club.
Dane Dunne, a Blades supporter, said: “People have been saying all season we need someone with football experience to run us from the top. It seems odd to me that someone who is going to be ‘working closely with the manager’ doesn’t have this.
“You’d think though that he must have had some sort of impact in his ‘advisory role’ to get the job.”
Andrew Smith, writer for Mercury Newspaper and avid Sheffield United fan, explained: “I’m a little sceptical over the appointment.
‘We’ve reshuffled at executive levels a few times already in the last year, and the owners just can’t seem to get it right. I think we needed someone with football experience to work with Wilder on football matters. If we get that right, we’d most likely be promoted.”
John Rodley was more supportive of the idea, stating: Barnsley appointed (Ben) Mansford who was a lawyer from a firm in Leeds as Chief Executive and he’s done a great job on and off the field there.
“Trevor Birch had numerous jobs in Football, as did Terry Robinson- both of who were widely panned by our fans when Chief Executive. In summary, whatever the club do some people will moan.”
As well as CEO, Mr Bettis will also become a director at the Bramall Lane club.