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Why Sheffield (the city)?


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I feel that Sheffield is very much a city stuck in the early-mid ‘90s. That period was not only great for both our football clubs but there was also a real sense that our city was progressing faster than a lot of our near neighbours.  Think of all the exiting projects that were going ahead: Supertram, Don Valley Stadium, Ponds Forge, Sheffield Arena, The Ski Village. Plus (even if you don’t necessary like the place) Meadowhall, which was at the time Europe’s largest shopping mall! Even club nights like Gatecrasher attracted people from across the UK. We just never pushed on from there, in fact three of those places have now gone.

 

Another thing I’ve noticed (having lived in both Leeds and Manchester for spells) is that Sheffield feels like a city for older, more conservative people who are resistant to ‘change’. It doesn’t have as much of that youthful, forward-thinking outlook and confidence. You only have to look at how any planning application for a supermarket is met with cries of anguish or how reluctant many Wednesday fans are to moving from Hillsborough.

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7 minutes ago, El Wednesday said:

Think of all the exiting projects that were going ahead: Supertram, Don Valley Stadium, Ponds Forge, Sheffield Arena, The Ski Village. Plus (even if you don’t necessary like the place)

 

Aye.

 

Ski Village - Gone

Don Valley - Gone

Arena - not outdone by Leeds (had to be) and Manchester.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Loppy said:

Bad luck and bad management meaning missed opportunities. 

 

I always consider the 93 finals as a marked turning point for the club. At that point we were doing a lot right, sorted out the messes of the lower leagues and were considered a force, with a very good squad. We had a great potential. 

 

We finished that season 7th. Arsenal finished 10th. Both had good young squads backed up by one of England's finest strikers, and a ground of around 38,000. Losing that FA cup final put Arsenal into the cup winners cup. Which they won. The reputation and money from which enabled them to invest in better players (Bergkamp etc), and attract Wenger. We started to make mistakes. Bad signings we couldn't fund, poor sales returns. Lack of investment in training and the ground. Which lead to us being out of the PL at the worst time.

 

Not saying things would have been reversed if we'd won - London has a bigger draw, and Arsenal had been champions only 2 years before but I do wonder. 

It’s funny you mention Arsenal. Was reading that they have the third biggest on line presence in Europe, something that has enabled them to grow the their profile massively

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Sheffield is a terrific city to live in with great people. It’s not the biggest city and doesn’t form part of a wider metropolis. The city has two clubs which also doesn’t help. In terms of attracting players you don’t have to live here to play here so I don’t think anything intrinsic about the city holds us back. I think the reasons Wednesday punches below our weight footballing wise are quite wide ranging but the underlining reason is quite simple. Our club has been mismanaged for most of our recent history. If we had been managed better and money spent more wisely on better infrastructure etc we would be in a better place. 
For example, Leicester’s long term fortunes were transformed once they moved out of Filbert Street. We haven’t done anything to improve any of our infrastructure for decades. If DC had spent less on players and more on improving the club for the longer term he’d likely be looking at a better return on his money. But no one wants to start 5 year+ projects.

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1 hour ago, Manwë said:

Donny is mostly for Thompson Holidays to Benidorm and a few cities in Poland.  

 

I can (or could) fly from Bristol to most major cities in Europe.   Bristol is used by business-folk and for those looking for a city break.  I've flown in and out of Bristol around 30 times.  The planes coming into Bristol are usually a mixture of nationalities looking to spend time and money in Bristol.  It may sound strange to us, but Bristol is a weekend break for plenty of Europeans.  There are also flights to New Jersey from Bristol.

 

The Sheffield City airport flew to Amsterdam and Dublin internationally IIRC.  Just those two alone expand the mind and thoughts of people, both in Sheffield and further afield about Sheffield.

 

DSA passenger numbers are 1.5m for 2019.  Bristol its 8.7m for 2018.  That's 7m more people going through little Bristol than Sheffield.   That's 7m people with money in their pockets.

 

Sheffield City Airport was a true City airport, minutes away from the centre.

It’s good to read different opinions but I see Sheffield differently. I also left Sheffield albeit 30 years ago now. But, I run a business from there with my Brother. Because we work in construction I see all of the regeneration and rebuilding going on. There is massive demand for office space, leisure facilities and housing. When your working here it doesn’t feel like a poor city. As to the Airport thing, i just don’t see it as a major deal. Most people don’t fly that much and digital businesses (which is the growth area for Sheffield) just don’t seem to encourage flying. The other elements of infrastructure (train, tram) are good and even the roads are getting better! I see Sheffield as a University City that is regenerating successfully and is very much on the up. At the end of the day I’ve put my money where my mouth is and make a good living by being part of that regeneration. I see the football failure as being far more to do with simple mismanagement. 

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1 hour ago, Loppy said:

Bad luck and bad management meaning missed opportunities. 

 

I always consider the 93 finals as a marked turning point for the club. At that point we were doing a lot right, sorted out the messes of the lower leagues and were considered a force, with a very good squad. We had a great potential. 

 

You could add the 96/97 FA Cup to that. We finished 7th in the league that year, and reached the QF of the cup, in which we were drawn at home to Wimbledon. They were also a decent team, but we were in good form and it was a great opportunity, not least because all the big names had already been knocked out. In the end, Chelsea, who, in their pre-Abramovich days, were no bigger than us at the time, won the cup. And guess which team won the following season's CWC?

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36 minutes ago, CircleSeven said:

It’s good to read different opinions but I see Sheffield differently. I also left Sheffield albeit 30 years ago now. But, I run a business from there with my Brother. Because we work in construction I see all of the regeneration and rebuilding going on. There is massive demand for office space, leisure facilities and housing. When your working here it doesn’t feel like a poor city. As to the Airport thing, i just don’t see it as a major deal. Most people don’t fly that much and digital businesses (which is the growth area for Sheffield) just don’t seem to encourage flying. The other elements of infrastructure (train, tram) are good and even the roads are getting better! I see Sheffield as a University City that is regenerating successfully and is very much on the up. At the end of the day I’ve put my money where my mouth is and make a good living by being part of that regeneration. I see the football failure as being far more to do with simple mismanagement. 

Great Post 

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41 minutes ago, CircleSeven said:

It’s good to read different opinions but I see Sheffield differently. I also left Sheffield albeit 30 years ago now. But, I run a business from there with my Brother. Because we work in construction I see all of the regeneration and rebuilding going on. There is massive demand for office space, leisure facilities and housing. When your working here it doesn’t feel like a poor city. As to the Airport thing, i just don’t see it as a major deal. Most people don’t fly that much and digital businesses (which is the growth area for Sheffield) just don’t seem to encourage flying. The other elements of infrastructure (train, tram) are good and even the roads are getting better! I see Sheffield as a University City that is regenerating successfully and is very much on the up. At the end of the day I’ve put my money where my mouth is and make a good living by being part of that regeneration. I see the football failure as being far more to do with simple mismanagement. 

Good stuff.

 

We'll have to agree to disagree re: airport.  As I said, a small city like Bristol will get 8m+ using their airport annually.  Those sorts of numbers do equate to an increase in wealth, same goes for any infrastructure.  

 

The universities (Sheffield in particular) seem to be the ones driving growth in the outer-centre.  This is a good thing, I just hope that once the students' education is complete, that knowledge and enthusiasm stays local and more start-ups happen.  

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13 minutes ago, Manwë said:

Good stuff.

 

We'll have to agree to disagree re: airport.  As I said, a small city like Bristol will get 8m+ using their airport annually.  Those sorts of numbers do equate to an increase in wealth, same goes for any infrastructure.  

 

The universities (Sheffield in particular) seem to be the ones driving growth in the outer-centre.  This is a good thing, I just hope that once the students' education is complete, that knowledge and enthusiasm stays local and more start-ups happen.  

👍
Air travel is one of those divisive topics. Airports make money but also are massively criticised for pollution. I guess if you don’t have one making a virtue of it is the best thing you can do, and a focus on green credentials and appealing to businesses that are more focused on that is a pretty good strategy. 
The main advantage of an airport from a footballing perspective is ease of getting to European fixtures. Not much need for that in Sheffield! 😂

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Guest T Hardy
6 hours ago, mozzy85 said:

You say that but look at Leicester, with good management anything is possible. Problem is we have an incompetent plebeian in charge.  

 


How much was it good management at Leicester, or other clubs massively underperforming that season? The truth is a lot of both in my opinion.

 

I hate to sound like I’m diminishing what they achieved, but I think when you look how their points tally would usually just get them into the top 4, or at best 2nd most seasons, it’s just as significant how poor other teams were. 
 

I’m not sure it can be looked at as a benchmark for what can realistically be achieved, I think it was a one off. 

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There are loads of reasons for living in Sheffield and for at least the last 40 years it has been top or close to the top of the list of cities where students move to study and end up staying there to live, so I checked out this site https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/study/city and it has plenty of reasons for coming to live here as many players, ex players, managers and ex managers have stated, including many that still live here after retirement the most famous ones probably being Nigel Pearson, Chris Waddle & Emlyn Hughes. I would also add the friendliness of the locals and the very dry quirky sense of humor and the small lesser know fact that the roots of our game, the first two football teams in the world and most of the original rules all came from here.

 

There are 564,000 people living in Sheffield

Nearly 60,000 of which are students

An affordable city

Sheffield is one of the UK’s top ten most affordable student cities.

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Student Living Index 2019

A safe city

England’s safest major city, according to the UK Peace Index

Awarded the Purple Flag for city safety, making it one of the safest places in the country for a night out seven years running

A creative city

Home to the largest community of artists and designers outside London

Known for its music, art and digital scenes

A green city

60 per cent of the city is green space

Over two million trees, 250 gardens, parks and woodland areas and a third of the city lies within the borders of the Peak District national park

 

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16 hours ago, doubleo said:

We're not on our own, Think Bristol, Nottingham, York, everywhere in Wales apart from Swansea and Cardiff, and up until recently Leeds.

And Birmingham to a lesser extent

 

As Englands 2nd city, apart from Villa having success in the 80’s arguably as a city our 2 clubs have out performed theirs in the last 30 years

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Being in the construction trade (ventilation systems). The majority of wealth in and around the city was mainly from the University most new buildings going up for years were campus or student digs. The last few years we've built a lot of new occomodation in which comes from Chinese money men and other buildings to cater for them. 

I don't think the university or Chinese businessman generally bother too much with investing in local football teams which won't help our cause for investment. 

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3 hours ago, El Wednesday said:

I feel that Sheffield is very much a city stuck in the early-mid ‘90s. That period was not only great for both our football clubs but there was also a real sense that our city was progressing faster than a lot of our near neighbours.  Think of all the exiting projects that were going ahead: Supertram, Don Valley Stadium, Ponds Forge, Sheffield Arena, The Ski Village. Plus (even if you don’t necessary like the place) Meadowhall, which was at the time Europe’s largest shopping mall! Even club nights like Gatecrasher attracted people from across the UK. We just never pushed on from there, in fact three of those places have now gone.

 

Another thing I’ve noticed (having lived in both Leeds and Manchester for spells) is that Sheffield feels like a city for older, more conservative people who are resistant to ‘change’. It doesn’t have as much of that youthful, forward-thinking outlook and confidence. You only have to look at how any planning application for a supermarket is met with cries of anguish or how reluctant many Wednesday fans are to moving from Hillsborough.

 

Great post, and again as much as it pains me to say it I have to agree with the outlook of a lot of folks from Sheffield, and what I perceive as a pathological self-defeatist attitude—folks who seem almost luxuriate in their own misery. Maybe you're onto something and that comes from the hangover of losing what made us an attractive and interesting city (for footballing reasons or otherwise).

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Guest Hornsby
4 hours ago, CircleSeven said:

It’s good to read different opinions but I see Sheffield differently. I also left Sheffield albeit 30 years ago now. But, I run a business from there with my Brother. Because we work in construction I see all of the regeneration and rebuilding going on. There is massive demand for office space, leisure facilities and housing. When your working here it doesn’t feel like a poor city. As to the Airport thing, i just don’t see it as a major deal. Most people don’t fly that much and digital businesses (which is the growth area for Sheffield) just don’t seem to encourage flying. The other elements of infrastructure (train, tram) are good and even the roads are getting better! I see Sheffield as a University City that is regenerating successfully and is very much on the up. At the end of the day I’ve put my money where my mouth is and make a good living by being part of that regeneration. I see the football failure as being far more to do with simple mismanagement. 

But that doesn't stimulate the economy, as World Student games and tram lines prove.

 

It's all about knowledge now and the brain drain from this city - like you - is still immense.

 

We have not created net jobs in private sector for donkeys.

 

Half -sized Brighton has more new VAT registrations annually than Steel city.

 

I have clients in China working on 6 G, nermind 5.

 

Border cities tend to struggle. Bristol is a regional capital , like Leeds and Manchester.

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