Sheffield Wednesday: Owls chief targets director of football

Milan Mandaric, left, and Dejphon Chansiri
Milan Mandaric, left, and Dejphon Chansiri
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New Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri is searching for a director of football as he continues to restructure the supports network around boss Stuart Gray, The Star can confirm.

Thai businessman Chansiri, who purchased the Championship club from Milan Mandaric in a £37.5m deal earlier this month, plans to bring in a new member of staff behind the scenes.

Chansiri, who has wiped out all of Wednesday’s debts, has promised to spend £1m on a new Hillsborough pitch this summer and is aiming to lead the club back into the Premier League by 2017.

Departing Wednesday owner Milan Mandaric said: “That (director of football) was my idea, when Stuart Gray was appointed, and I feel eventually that will be needed and will happen.”

It is not yet known when the appointment will be made but a director of football would play a major role in Wednesday’s player recruitment drive.

Normally, a director of football works alongside a head coach/manager, helping them finalise a short-list of areas which needs enhancing. That person will then make their recommendations to the head coach/manager, who, in theory, will have the final say on all footballing matters.

While Mandaric has bid a fond farewell, Paul Aldridge will stay on as chief executive to oversee the day-to-day running of the club.

“Paul has been around in football (for many years) and knows what this club needs,” stressed Mandaric.

Chansiri has also drafted in two representatives from Thailand who will help keep him informed of all developments when he is in his native country.

Mandaric added: “He (Chansiri) is already making plans for next season, you see what’s happening at this club and other clubs.

“In football there is no guarantees. If anyone tells you ‘I will be promoted’ next season, I think what you should do is make a plan for the next two or three years.

“If you can do it sooner than three years, great.

“But there’s one thing, this gentleman wants promotion. I am quite sure he will find a way to do it.”

The 76-year-old declined to reveal how much money he ploughed into Wednesday in his four years in charge, insisting his objective was not motivated by money. However, the Serbian-American entrepreneur has conceded he will receive a financial bonus when Owls return to the top flight.

Mandaric, claiming Wednesday are among the six biggest clubs in England, said: “I haven’t made a lot of money out of Wednesday.

“It wasn’t a commercial mission to make money. It was a love for the club and love for the game. As a business guy, I would like to at least recoup my money and hopefully get some bonus when the club is in the Premier League.”

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