Releasing contract news relating to one of your star players at midnight is odd, to say the least, but coupled with what would come later, Sheffield Wednesday’s timing was simply perfect.
You can argue all you like about whether this season has, so far, met the expectations brought about by last year’s terrific push to the Play-Off Final and the subsequent cash spent on bolstering the squad, but there’s no getting away from the fact that there had been a fair amount of negativity hovering over Hillsborough in the past couple of weeks.
Three poor performances in a row, with draws against Preston and Wolves, then a 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough on Sunday had given doom-mongers plenty of ammunition to fire at Carlos Carvalhal and his team.
Over the space of 15 hours, that frowning grey cloud was swept away in a couple of strokes of a pen.
The announcement at the dead of night that Fernando Forestieri had agreed a new deal to stay at Hillsborough until 2020 meant Owls fans went into work yesterday morning with a collective spring in their steps.
That spring became a jump by the afternoon when news broke that Sam Hutchinson, without question Wednesday’s best player this campaign, had joined Forestieri in signing a new contract, meaning he, too, would be staying on until at least 2020.
Whether it was by accident or design, it all appears incredibly clever on the part of chairman Dejphon Chansiri.
The detractors seemed to be rising in number; many fans had hoped for more from the team this time around, some had expected it while others seemingly demanded it.
They say you can’t please everyone but keeping Forestieri and Hutchinson on board is as close as anyone at Wednesday is likely to get on that score.
What the news also does is offer a buffer should things not go Sheffield Wednesday’s way in the transfer market during this window.
The Owls are reportedly interested in a striker, with Jordan Rhodes replacing Ben Marshall as almost omnipresent in transfer gossip. Others have been linked, too, and ultimately as with everything, it will come down to money, on the part of the player and their respective clubs.
If, however, a new striker doesn’t end up posing with a blue shirt by the end of the month, Chansiri can point to a January that has seen Callum McManaman and Morgan Fox come in and two of the team’s most important players secured on new deals.
Under the circumstances, that is the chairman doesn’t have a bottomless pit of cash, most fans surely have to see that as a decent return.