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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Slavisa Jokanovic sacked by Sheffield United after just six months in charge

Slavisa Jokanovic has left Sheffield United after just six months in charge with Paul Heckingbottom taking over as manager.

Jokanovic was summoned for talks with the United board on Thursday morning and informed that his reign had come to an end.

United have named under-23s coach Heckingbottom as Jokanovic’s replacement, with his first game this weekend at home to Bristol City.  

Heckingbottom will bring in a number of coaches to support his role, including former United players Jack Lester, who becomes head of player development, and Stuart McCall, who is the new assistant manager.

Chairman Yusuf Giansiracusa said: “We look forward to embarking on a new era in Blades football with Paul at the helm. Paul possesses the personal leadership qualities and technical football skills the board feels are essential to successfully implement the board’s strategic directives. 

“He shares our values and interest in player development while also possessing the ambition and determination to get the most out of our current squad. We are convinced that Paul will play a leading role in improving all aspects of football operations.”

It has proved a difficult start to the campaign for United, relegated from the Premier League last season, and the 1-0 win at Reading on Tuesday was only their sixth under Jokanovic.

The Serbian is understood to have clashed with the board over the club’s budget and becomes the latest managerial departure from the Championship.

His position appeared precarious on Tuesday when it emerged that many of United’s Saudi Arabian board members were in attendance at the Madejski Stadium.

Jokanovic, 53, was appointed in May on a three-year deal with the remit of returning the club to the top-flight. They are currently 16th in the table.

The win at Reading was overshadowed by the collapse of midfielder John Fleck, who required medical attention in the second half.

Fleck was discharged from hospital on Wednesday after undergoing  “comprehensive medical examinations”.

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