Owner Dejphon Chansiri will spend ‘whatever it takes’ over the summer to turn Sheffield Wednesday into automatic promotion contenders, according to departed vice chairman Paul Aldridge.
Thai businessman Chansiri splashed the cash last term as the Owls narrowly missed out on a lucrative place in the Premier League, losing 1-0 to Hull City in the Championship Play-Off final.
It is understood Chansiri forked out close to £14million on wages and transfer fees, with Wednesday finishing sixth in the regular campaign.
Carlos Carvalhal’s arrival, almost 12 months ago, heralded a major squad overhaul. Fifthteen players were snapped up before the end of August, including big-money recruits Fernando Forestieri and Lucas Joao.
And Aldridge, who left his position last week, claims Chansiri will re-double his efforts to lead the club back into the big time following their Wembley disappointment.
“Like everybody, the chairman was very disappointed after the final,” Aldridge told The Star. “But as the leader of the group, he has to try and lift everybody and go again next season.
“I’m sure he will reflect on it over the next couple of weeks and give Carlos and the guys whatever they need to try and get the top-two, which was the aim this year.
“The chairman has gone on record saying he will put in the resources that are necessary as he has stated he would like promotion in time for the club’s 150th anniversary coming up.”
Aldridge has worked closely with Chansiri, describing him as an “incredibly ambitious” person. He believes Chansiri will have benefited and learned a “huge amount” from his first full year in English football.
“He’s very ambitious and there’s only one goal which is to get to the Premier League,” said Aldridge, who first moved to Hillsborough in January 2011 as chief executive, brought on board by Milan Mandaric when the former Owls owner first took charge of the club. “From the Premier League, it is to make sure the club is stable and not making up the numbers.”
Aldridge, who had previously worked at West Ham United, Leicester City and Manchester City, has spoken of the importance of Wednesday’s players quickly shaking off their promotion near-miss.
As long as they suffer no hangover, Aldridge is confident Wednesday will have another strong campaign.
“It is going to be tough next year, but there are no easy years to go up,” said Aldridge.
“We’ve all seen big clubs come down before with parachute payments and go down even further.
“Even if you are a big club and have good players, it doesn’t always mean you are going to secure automatic promotion or play-offs.
“The Championship is a tough, relentless league and sometimes the clubs who come down are not prepared for it.”
Following the summer break, the Owls’ squad are due to report back for pre-season training on July 4.
Aldridge has praised the job Carvalhal has done, saying: “He has done fantastic after coming in during a difficult period. As Carlos would admit, he didn’t know the league but he has got everyone together and the players are all really behind him.”