As a Sheffield Wednesday supporter, I am really happy Hafiz Mammadov has completed his takeover of the club.
I think, though, Owls fans have to temper their expectations. Just because Mammadov has invested in the club doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to translate into instant success on the pitch.
There are so many teams in the Championship who have been taken over in recent years, including Leeds United, Reading and Nottingham Forest. None of them have managed to get into the Premier League.
The problem is that sometimes foreign owners want too much say. Some want to meddle in team affairs, and I think that’s been the issue with Vincent Tan at Cardiff City. I am quite close to Hull City’s owner Assem Allam and he created quite a lot of controversy over trying to change their name, but he doesn’t interfere in team matters.
What I really think Mammadov does need to make clear after the takeover has been ratified is whether he plans on sticking with Stuart Gray as manager. He has got to either give him backing and let Stuart get his own signings in or he brings in his own man. If Stuart is not the person he wants at the helm, then, in my eyes, he would be better off getting rid of him now. Too often new owners let a manager stay in charge of a team until around October or November time and wait for that person to trip up before axeing them. By doing that, you lose time. He either trusts Gray to do the job or he doesn’t. Personally, I think he deserves a chance and has earned the right to take the club forward.
My concern is that Wednesday haven’t got their business done early in the transfer market and the new arrivals won’t get full pre-seasons under their belts. The team have started the last two seasons slowly and they can’t afford another poor start. They need to get the takeover finalised as soon as possible and get in some new players because the squad is lacking depth in certain positions.
It is great news Mammadov has come in and I hope he wants to leave a legacy at the club. I would like to think he is at Wednesday for the long term and will be looking at making our facilities better.
For me, Mammadov should not be judged purely on results on the pitch but on how the club develops under him. Hopefully he will be similar to Milan Mandaric in that, when he decides to go, he leaves us in a far stronger position than when he got the job.