Ask the Chairman: Sheffield Wednesday owner on claims he’s too hands-on

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Chairman Dejphon Chansiri has laughed off suggestions he is too hands-on in his running of Sheffield Wednesday.

In the latest part of the ‘Ask the Chairman’ series where Chansiri fielded questions from supporters, the Thai businessman admitted he smiled when reading accusations that he ‘micro-manages’.

Sheffield Wednesday owner and chairman Dejphon Chansiri

Sheffield Wednesday owner and chairman Dejphon Chansiri

Responding to a query regarding the lack of a Chief Executive Officer at Hillsborough since Paul Aldridge left following the takeover, Chansiri said he is happy with the current structure in place. However, the chairman said he would not rule out such an appointment, if he felt it was the for the benefit of Sheffield Wednesday.

“Of course if any move benefits Sheffield Wednesday, then it would be something I would consider,” replied Chansiri.

“But right now I am comfortable with the management structure, an in-house committee, in place. This, like all aspects of the club, is under ongoing review and could change at any time.

“For now, we have managers at the head of every department who report to either to the Chief Operating Officer (Joe Palmer) or directly to myself, depending on the nature of the role. It is simple and straightforward and works well for everybody concerned. In the future perhaps I could introduce a CEO but any such appointment would have to be the right one for myself and my staff to help move the club forward.”

Sheffield Wednesday's Chief Operating Officer Joe Palmer

Sheffield Wednesday's Chief Operating Officer Joe Palmer

There had been suggestion and rumour surrounding Chansiri’s style of management since his arrival in South Yorkshire almost three years ago.

A lot of that centres on how many decisions he makes personally and the experience of the people he is working with and advised by.

“I have seen certain things about my style of management which make me smile,” he said.

“Do I micro-manage? No, because otherwise there is no point in having department managers. Am I a pro-active chairman? Yes, because I care passionately and want the very best for our club. Do I have football people around me? Does anybody really believe a chairman of a club the size of Sheffield Wednesday, with the expertise required, would not have football people at his side?

Former CEO Paul Aldridge alongside former owner Milan Mandaric

Former CEO Paul Aldridge alongside former owner Milan Mandaric

“I installed our finance director John Redgate onto the board who has much experience in the game. John helps look after the club whilst I am out of the UK. Elsewhere, there are many years of football experience in the office management structure, people who have the autonomy to make their own decisions for the good of their department and our club.

“Sure, many decisions will require my input, which is completely normal as chairman. Just like recruitment, the significant financial decisions are mine as the owner of the club. But managers manage their departments, this is why they are here and this is why they are managers.

“Can we all improve? Of course. Just like the team on the pitch can always improve, so can the team off the pitch. I expect continual improvement and progress from my staff because I want SheffieldWednesday to be the most professional club possible.