Sheffield Wednesday: Passionate Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri sets his sights high

Dejphon Chansiri
Dejphon Chansiri
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It’s a new campaign but Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri’s goal remains exactly the same.

“I always expect the top two ever year,” conceded the Thai businessman at the club’s Steering Group Meeting last night.

Dejphon Chansiri

Dejphon Chansiri

It is an ambitious aim but not unrealistic.

Chansiri expects the team to give promotion their best shot, adding: “We will try our best.”

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As far as Chansiri is concerned, the Owls over-achieved in his first full season at the helm by finishing sixth and reaching the Championship Play-Off Final.

Carlos Carvalhal and Dejphon Chansiri

Carlos Carvalhal and Dejphon Chansiri

However, it was a different story last term.

Chansiri accepts Wednesday missed a glorious opportunity to secure promotion to the Premier League. It was another year of play-off misery as the Owls fell short at the semi-final stage.

Nothing is ever guaranteed in football as Chansiri was keen to stress to the fans who attended the meeting at Hillsborough. He has poured millions of his own money into transforming the club’s fortunes on and off the pitch but the reality is only three teams can go up each season.

“We have a good squad,” said Chansiri. “We just need some more players.” The sooner another centre-half comes in the better.

After completing his takeover of the club two and a half years ago, Chansiri made the frank admission that his knowledge on football was limited.

But Chansiri is a fast learner and he and his family have become hooked on the sport.

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His passion and love for the Owls is indisputable. Chansiri claims he spent more time in England than in his own country last season. You get the impression he is here for the long haul.

He said: “I’m 100 per cent an Owl. The club is in my blood.”

Chansiri, a proud, principled man, wears his heart on his sleeve. In my experience of dealing with him, he doesn’t like to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. Chansiri accepts not all his decisions will be universally popular but insists he has the best interests of the club at heart.

“We have spent a lot in the last two years and we have not sold any players because we want to get promoted,” said Chansiri. “I want to do everything in my power to make the fans happy.”

Although he has invested heavily in improving the first-team squad and infrastructure, it does not make Chansiri immune from criticism. Mistakes have been made a long the way and he was grilled over various topics the other night, including their mixed recruitment drive, matchday ticket prices and hospitality packages.

There were times when tensions were running high but no subject is ever off the table at a Steering meeting. Chansiri and the rest of the panel gave up over five hours of their time to directly answer their questions.

Chansiri also made it crystal clear there is only so much cash he can keep pumping in to ensure the club continue to comply with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. He insists FFP is not an issue at present but has one eye on the long-term.

He said: “If I could do everything on my own, I would but I can’t. I ask all the fans to support and get behind the club.”

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