How Sheffield United’s Premier League Performances Reflect the City’s Broader Culture

Following their promotion to the Premier League for the 2019-20 season, Sheffield United have continued to upset the odds of the footballing world. While, of course, they have done so through undeniable talent and hard work, their passion and commitment to the cause is a reflection of the City’s culture and beliefs. So, with that in mind, let’s consider how the Blades’ displays capture the core values of the South Yorkshire city.

A Sense of Togetherness and Community Spirit

As a local man, United’s boss, Chris Wilder, understands the importance of football to communities, particularly Sheffield. Throughout Sheffield’s history, it has long had a central involvement in sport, which has seen football surpass cricket as the city’s leading game. This is evident through the area having two clubs, the Blades, and, of course, Sheffield Wednesday.

Importantly, many factors showcase the community spirit that Sheffield’s top-flight club seek to integrate into everything that they do. The sense of pride that the Bramall Lane-based side has in their local area is mirrored by the club’s supporters. A Matchday Fan Experience Survey from October 2019 to January 2020 found that 100% of supporters were happy with the team, with many praising United’s welcoming atmosphere.

Moreover, the people of Sheffield are likely to feel a sense of unity through the Blades’ local manager that isn’t rivalled by other clubs. Although, first and foremost, the 52-year-old’s job is to coach United, he also stands to represent Sheffield in English football’s most-watched league.

Capturing Hopeful Hearts

Unlike many teams in the Premier League, the Blades’ promotion to the Premier League hasn’t impacted upon their approach or core values. Under Wilder, locality has been there for all to see within their squad, with there being an undeniable pride in providing British and Irish players with top-flight opportunities. This is a testament not just to the potential of Sheffield-based players, but also the previously-unexplored pool of homegrown, local talent.

In adopting the city of Sheffield’s hardworking attitude in their on-field performances, the Cutlers, as they were nicknamed between 1889 and 1912, have also attracted support from Eastern European countries, including Belarus. The Blades’ story of defiance is one that many football supporters can get behind, with Sheffield’s working-class values being paramount to the team’s success.

Crucially, United represents a city of devoted supporters who pride themselves on being the underdogs through adopting a culture based on hope. Fundamentally, this has been central to their ongoing push for a European place, with them being 33/1 with football betting to secure a top-six finish come the end of the 2019-20 season, as of July 3rd.

Refusing to Change Their Ways
Ultimately, despite being in a league that is principally dictated to by money, the Blades continue to refuse to alter their ethos. Importantly, this stands as a signal of what Sheffield represent. The area’s all-important togetherness is created through a collective sense of hope, hard work, and a desire to upset the odds.

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