Hafiz Mammadov is the new owner of Sheffield Wednesday. Here some of The Star’s reporters give their first thoughts on the deal.
Martin Smith, Features Editor
I have to say I don’t know much about the man but as Wednesday takeovers go it was pretty smooth. Remember all those will they won’t they stories over the years?
This fellow seems to know his way around football although owning three clubs does seem a bit extravagant and knowing which one to focus resources on may become an issue. Well done Milan Mandaric though he steadied the ship.
Bob Westerdale, Sports Editor
Sheffield Wednesday have stability now, when before there was little, so Owls’ fans should always remember how Milan Mandaric got them to this point.
Hopefully the club can now blossom with some significant investment.
Realistically, the fans are going to want to know how much money the new buyer is prepared to sink in.
Success can be bought relatively quickly by super-wealthy owners.
But organic growth can last longer.
I wish Wednesday all the best in this new era.
Liam Hoden, Sports Reporter
Milan Mandaric steadied a ship that had been lurching - seemingly into oblivion - for so long and now passes control of the helm to a man who will be determined to power it forward. Hafiz Mammadov’s true intentions and goals have yet to be revealed.
But this is a man who has plenty of money and a history of putting it where his mouth is when it comes to his football clubs. There will be plenty of supporters who remain sceptical - 15 years of disappointment will see to that - but there finally seems to be a potential route back to the promised land.
Thankfully this was a deal that was completed quickly but there is still plenty Mammadov must make clear sooner rather than later. Questions over the fate of the head coach, intentions in the transfer market and goals for the coming campaign should be answered quickly to give the club the best chance of success next season.
Danny Hall, Sports Reporter
After a number of false dawns, this was the news that Owls fans have been waiting for - seemingly, for years.
Today’s announcement that Haifz Mammadov is the new owner of Sheffield Wednesday could be the dawn of a new era for the Hillsborough club - but the contribution of Milan Mandaric should not be forgotten amid the joyous scenes. Mandaric rescued this sleeping giant from the brink of oblivion - and now, the Lens owner seems prepared to take it to the next level.
Paul Davis, The Star’s Rotherham United reporter
Two huge Championship derbies next season have suddenly become even spicier.
It will be interesting to see how much Stuart Gray is given to spend after the takeover as he’s had to work without significant funds so far.
Rotherham are proof that a chairman and manager working hand in hand can take a club a long way, although the Millers have spent a lot less on players than most people think.
Chris Holt, Sports Reporter
Long term, it’s difficult to say how things are going to pan out, until we hear the definite plans that Mr Mammadov has for Sheffield Wednesday, in terms of on-field investment. However, what has to go down as a major positive is that is has been sorted out relatively quickly and with plenty of time before the new season starts. If the new owner gets to work straight away then Stuart Gray can begin drawing up a list of transfer targets for the coming campaign, based on what Mammadov has offered him in terms of a kitty. The last thing the club needed was for this to drag on over the entire summer, leaving everyone in limbo and, from an Owls point of view, that, thankfully, has now been avoided.
Richard Fidler, The Star’s night editor
It’ll be interesting to see how quickly the deal can be ratified and then how speedily Hafiz Mammadov is in improving the Wednesday squad.
Wednesdayites are desperate to return to the Premier League and although it may be a case of patience still being the watch-word there will be plenty who expect an instant impact.
Money talks in football so Mammadov knows what is expected of him during this transfer window.
Alex Evans, News Reporter
As a Wednesday fan whose lifetime has coincided almost perfectly with the club’s fall from Premier League grace, I can only feel excitement at the prospect of a big-money buyer promising to deliver top-flight football.
Countless clubs - even the Blades - have attracted ostensibly wealthy foreign owners in recent years while Wednesday, one of the oldest, best-supported clubs in English football seemed to plod on, seemingly unnoticed by prospective club shoppers.
Mandaric has done a decent job in stabilising what was a heavily indebted club on his takeover, and it is with cautious optimism - owing much to Mammadov’s takeover of RC Lens and their subsequent promotion - that I dare to dream of watching the Wednesday on Match Of The Day again before long. Now let’s make some signings...
Let us know what you think? Are you happy with the deal?