Dejphon Chansiri has warned potential suitors off Wednesday’s top stars, including Fernando Forestieri, by stressing: “Under no circumstances will we be selling our best players.”
The Owls chairman made the admission following Forestieri’s full apology for refusing to play against Norwich City last weekend.
Forestieri has been heavily linked with a move away from Hillsborough over the last week. Derby County recently saw a £7m bid for the striker turned down and Newcastle United are also understood to be admirers of the 26-year-old.
But in a statement released yesterday, Chansiri said: “The message we have issued over the last few days has been powerful and clear – under no circumstances will we be selling our best players.
“We are building, not taking apart. Everybody at our club, and I repeat everybody, is now pulling in the same direction and will give nothing but complete commitment for the good of Sheffield Wednesday.”
Forestieri refused to travel to Carrow Road and had to be convinced by boss Carlos Carvalhal and club captain Glenn Loovens to play in their league opener against Aston Villa. He grabbed an 85th minute winner, although his celebrations were subdued.
Forestieri has apologised to Chansiri, Carvalhal, his teammates and the fans for his “unprofessional and unacceptable” behaviour on Monday morning. The former Watford man has also been fined by the club.
“I accept my actions were unprofessional and unacceptable and to that end, I apologised sincerely to my team-mates, the head coach and all the coaching staff first thing on Monday morning,” said Forestieri, who was named on the bench in their clash at Burton Albion. “I also apologised to our fantastic supporters, who have been so kind to me since I arrived at Sheffield Wednesday.
“I would now like to also apologise to our chairman. I was wrong and did not show him the respect he deserves. He has shown full support throughout the last few days, for which I offer my genuine gratitude. There have been misunderstandings but I am very pleased to say that this situation is now resolved.
“I can only repeat that never once did I even consider leaving Wednesday, and I am sorry if anyone ever thought that was the case.
“If I could turn back the clock, I would - but I cannot. Sometimes in life you have to make mistakes so you can learn from them. All I can do is ask for forgiveness from everyone who has been so supportive towards myself and my family during my very happy time at Hillsborough so far.
“My heart is with Wednesday and I now wish to put these events behind me, concentrate completely on my football and help this wonderful club move towards the success we all desire.”
Chansiri has accepted the apology and is looking to draw a line under the matter.
He said: “Fernando’s team mates, all the coaching staff and Carlos accepted his apology and it is important to me as the leader of the club that I now go on record as saying that I too accept his apology and forgive his conduct. He was disrespectful and this is something I could not accept.
“Fernando came to see me personally last night (Monday) to apologise and asked me to forgive him, making clear that he acted in an unprofessional manner not befitting of Sheffield Wednesday. Much of what was said must remain private, of course, but I feel it is vital that I communicate to you, the fans, as much as I possibly can in an open and honest fashion.
“This unsavoury situation is the last thing I would wish to unfold at our club but I accept that incidents such as this do happen in the world of football – it is not the first time and I am sure it will not be the last.
“The most important thing is how we all move on together and draw a line in the sand. Therefore, as your chairman, I am asking you all to show the same forgiveness and give 100 per cent support to Fernando the very next time he wears the colours of our club.
“Whilst I completely respect your opinions, whatever they may be, to be anything other than fully supportive could be disharmonious and counter-productive, which is the last thing that anybody wants. Above all else, we are family, and we help each other through times of trouble.
“We must all be as one. Families have differences but I believe that if a problem can be resolved, then it shall, and I sincerely hope that this situation is a case in point. We can and will emerge stronger, of that I am sure because this club is special, unique.”