Sheffield Wednesday: Owls should take heed from Rovers takeover

Milan Mandaric
Milan Mandaric
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The Star understands the Owls takeover saga will be sorted one way or another early this week.

Regardless of the outcome, such news should come as a positive to those with an affection for Wednesday.

Supporters need only look to the example of neighbouring Doncaster Rovers as to why such matters are best resolved as soon as possible.

A year ago, Rovers became embroiled in a takeover issue that would rumble on for six months. Hedge fund Sequentia Capital wished to purchase the club outright, arriving with the backing of existing chairman John Ryan.

Sequentia initially looked to have been given the green light before being knocked back, but not with enough conviction for the group to disappear entirely.

It was not until last November that Rovers’ major shareholders finally told Sequentia to move on.

Players and managers consistently attempt to distance themselves from boardroom matters. It became clear with Rovers how much what happens in the boardroom effects what occurs in the playing section.

The newly arriving manager Paul Dickov had two possible outcomes ahead of him as he looked to build his first squad.

The first was the status quo: a tight budget which he would have to forge a side capable of securing Championship survival.

The second was a successful takeover which would have seen a major cash injection into the playing budget and transfer kitty to mount a previously unlikely push for promotion to the top flight.

These two outcomes ensured Dickov had two shopping lists, or a plan A and a plan B. A list of modest targets should Rovers maintain the status quo and a list containing names like Shay Given, Billy Sharp and Richard Dunne who had been lined up to join the club should the takeover go through.

The on-going takeover saga also presented a problem in relation to handing out contracts.

The existing board were clearly reluctant to sanction contracts while they remained unsure of their own futures. Why tie yourself into paying players when you don’t know how long you are going to be in charge for?

Rovers dragged their feet over what should have been straight-forward contract extensions. It meant they lost former Owl Tommy Spurr to Blackburn Rovers.

Spurr had been willing to stay in Doncaster but with a matter of days to go before the start of the season and no contract presented to him, the full back had little choice but to look for a more secure future elsewhere.

It appears, given the swiftness of which Rovers’ latest takeover attempt has been dealt with, that the hierarchy at the Keepmoat have learned their lesson from last year.

One Direction superstar Louis Tomlinson and returning hero Ryan will have their purchase of the club confirmed over the next couple of days, a matter of weeks since their initial offer was presented to the current owners.

It should be a lesson which Milan Mandaric heeds as well.

Mandaric has pledged to do what is best for Wednesday as a club when he finally sells up, avoiding deals that would damage the stability he has worked hard to bring about.

He should also be keen to ensure short term stability for the Owls by helping Stuart Gray to have a clear picture of the tools at his disposal to build his first squad as head coach.

The only way to do that is a swift resolution to the latest takeover approach.