David Moyes turned down a chance to manage Wednesday because of the club’s financial state at the time, it has been officially revealed for the first time.
Moyes, who is set to take over at Manchester United on July 1, was involved in speculation about the Owls job in 2000 when he was at Preston and Danny Wilson had been sacked from Hillsborough.
Now, the then Wednesday chairman Howard Culley has confirmed that Moyes was a target in that post-relegation summer but the present Everton boss baulked at the financial restrictions attached to the job.
Culley told The Star: “We had discussions with a number of people. He was very high on the list.
“I think, from memory, that he had a release clause in his contract that could be activated if he wished.
“What wasn’t very attractive to us was that rather than being able to bring in someone who could add new players and strengthen the squad, we had to find a manager who could generate cash from the players we’d got. It was a very difficult period and not necessarily attractive to a manager with the promise that David Moyes had.
“I do know he was aware of our interest but it was made quite clear that it wasn’t a position he would take. I think our financial position was not very helpful towards recruitment.”
During the intervening years it has been said that Moyes asked Sir Alex Ferguson whether he should take the Hillsborough job and was advised to wait for a more suitable opportunity.
Moyes joined Everton in 2012; his record there and elevation to become Ferguson’s successor suggest that he would have been a real capture for the Owls.
Culley added: “I think would we would have been pleased if we had been able to appoint him. His commitment and work ethic were so obvious. He is such a solid man.”
Paul Jewell took on the Owls tough task but was sacked after eight months.