Chairman kept quiet as Megson’s fate was sealed

Owls chairman Milan Mandaric
Owls chairman Milan Mandaric
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MILAN Mandaric made up his mind to sack Gary Megson after the defeat at Chesterfield, the Owls chairman has revealed.

Mandaric felt he had to act after only two wins in 10 league and cup games.

He decided not to wield the axe ahead of the Sheffield derby because he did not want anything to mar the build-up to such a big game.

But he admitted that he sounded out Dave Jones during the week leading up to the 1-0 win against United.

Mandaric said: “I made the decision after the game at Chesterfield but that was an important week for us. I just let it go, just to demonstrate my commitment to the club at that time. We’d also brought in an important player two days before the game, Antonio.”

He confirmed that he and Megson met on the Monday after the game against John Sheridan’s side but the manager was not told then that he was to be dismissed.

“During that week I started to think who would be available and who should I talk to,” he said. “If I make a decision I want to do it quickly and move forward.

“I did call Dave Jones and tell him ‘this is what I’m going to do’. I heard that he was almost getting other jobs. He told me ‘okay, chairman, when you are ready then call me and we’ll talk about it at that time’.”

Mandaric said that they met for a full interview on Thursday - the day after Megson’s sacking. After another meeting yesterday, Jones signed his contract early in the afternoon.

The Owls owner also denied reports that Megson had complained to the League Managers Association about candidates being approached while he was still in the job: “That is not true. He did not call them, and they confirmed that with me directly.”

Mandaric also confirmed that his relationship with Megson had broken down. But he stressed that his decision came after the results of the 10 games before the derby and was done in the best interests of the club.

“I just felt we needed to go in a different direction,” he said.

“We were on a sliding slope. We have 13 games left. I didn’t want to take that chance.”

Jones said: “I’m given the opportunity to manage Sheffield Wednesday. If I had turned it down, somebody else would be standing here.

“The decision has been made. It wasn’t my decision, and I know it caused the chairman a lot of time and turmoil to make it. It’s the business we’re in. The same thing could happen to me in 12 months, six months, whatever. I finished third in the Championship in a play-off spot (with Cardiff) and still went.

“Look at Huddersfield and Leeds. It happens. Once these decisions are made, you hope the supporters will get behind what the players have achieved so far and push them on to do the final leg. I’m just pleased to be here. I’ve got sympathy for anybody who’s going to be out of work. I was out or work for six or seven months. We’re in a results business. Sometimes things don’t always go to plan.”

Jones revealed he intended to speak to Megson: “There’s no reason for him to fall out with me, and no reason for me to fall out with him,” he said.

“You’re always going to get unhappy people but hopefully we’ll get more happy ones because the results go well.”