‘Wilko’ to continue backing Wednesday

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HOWARD Wilkinson is ready to continue aiding the Owls though he has left the board.

The League Managers Association chairman is willing to give any assistance - including the chats with Alan Irvine which the manager so values.

Wilkinson told The Star: “The only difference between now and before is that I haven’t got ‘director’ behind my name. When assistance is required, it will be given. I don’t have to be a director to take an interest in the club or give help.”

The LMA last May gave him their blessing to join Wednesday temporarily so he could help to secure their future, and he now feels his role in finding a buyer and smoothing a transitional period is over.

Wilkinson also dismissed speculation that the timing of his exit compounds perceived uncertainty over Irvine’s future. He said the managerial situation never entered his thinking, and suggested that whenever he had stood down, there would always have been those ready to jump to a conclusion.

Irvine told The Star that Wilkinson’s decision is no surprise to him: “Howard was always going to help out for as long as it took for a takeover to happen and for things to settle down. He’s been a great help to me, even before he became chairman, I expect that will continue and I’ll be able to give him a call.”

Chairman Milan Mandaric said: “Howard gave an indication that he’s doing it now because the job is accomplished. But he will still be part of the club as a friend. This is his club, and I thank him for what he has done.”

Mandaric said board composition was not a current priority and was something to be discussed later.

Wilkinson was in Spain yesterday; later this week he will be on LMA business in Geneva, at a UEFA meeting, and in London.