Sheffield Wednesday: Gray happy over Owls takeover

Owls head coach Stuart Gray.
Owls head coach Stuart Gray.
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Stuart Gray has welcomed Hafiz Mammadov’s takeover of Sheffield Wednesday, describing it as “great” news for the Championship club.

It was just over a week ago Azerbaijani businessman Mammadov purchased the Owls in a deal believed to be in the region of £40m. His buy-out is subject to Football League ratification and chairman Milan Mandaric admits it could be a “couple of weeks” before the deal is approved.

Mammadov, the founder and chairman of the Baghlan Group, which specialises in oil, gas, construction and transportation, has set his sights on leading Wednesday back into the Premier League.

Mandaric has told this newspaper that Gray “will be given a proper chance to demonstrate what he can do”, ending speculation over his future.

Gray told The Star: “It is great for the club Mr Mammadov has come in and I’m looking forward to working with him. He is a successful businessman and has a wealth of experience in owning football clubs.

“It is fantastic news for the supporters and hopefully, with his investment, we can take the club on to the next level.”

It is understood Gray will sit down over the next couple of days with Mandaric and Mammadov to discuss the playing budget and potential transfer targets. The Owls chief, an admirer of Newcastle United winger Sammy Ameobi and free agent Sam Hutchinson, is looking at improving every department of the team. A 20-goal striker is thought to be at the top of his wish list.

Wednesday’s pre-season friendly at League Two side Bury, scheduled for Friday July 18, kick-off 7.45pm, will now be staged at the AJ Bell Stadium, in Salford.