Alan Biggs at Large: This is just the start for chairman Chansiri at Wednesday
The stadium, the training ground, the academy, the whole infrastructure of the club. Rightly on the back burner for now. But if you think Sheffield Wednesday's owner has eyes '“ and money '“ only for the team then I reckon there could be a few surprises in the pipeline.
The timing hangs on this momentous month of May with the Owls just three games from a glorious return to the Premier League.
Yet possibly the best thing about Dejphon Chansiri’s deeply impressive start as chairman is that it is only a start; that he sees the club in the whole, not just a team on the field that needed funding to put it on the road to riches.
There has been the bow to tradition, the restoring of an historic logo, the pledge to respect the club’s heritage as a football institution. At some point has to come a degree of change, carefully considered.
It’s why the Thai tycoon will be drawing breath at this time, wondering how the on-field drama will shape the immediate future. It could do so quite dramatically.
What matters equally is that you detect no sense of panic should Wednesday fall short in the first campaign of an initial two-season pledge. The summer, you’d think, would then be relatively uneventful with just a little fine-tuning of the squad.
Get promotion now and the club could be faced – gladly – with one of the most hectic summers it has ever known.
Yes, you could expect untold millions to be earmarked for players because Chansiri is not in it for a one-year sightseeing tour. The really serious symbol of his reign is that I doubt the expenditure would end with what you see on the field.
Ultimately, Sheffield Wednesday, as a Premier League outfit, would need a facelift. Chansiri has done it the right way round, the only way round. Older Owls fans will know from the grand stadium rebuilding of the 1960s that appearing to put facilities before the team is always controversial.
Hillsborough, with its 38,000 capacity, is arguably adequate for now and, barring the top clutch of games, big enough for a season or two of acclimatisation in the Premier League. Beyond that? Be sure that Chansiri has his eye on this ball. As he does on the Owls out-dated training ground at Middlewood Road. And, you’d think, on the relatively low output of home-grown senior players over many years, not just the last few. Then there is a pitch that has again been problematic despite the £1m re-lay last summer.
All of this and more is the big picture backdrop to the promotion prize. Another thing, though. From the experience of enjoying Chansiri’s company socially on several occasions, you couldn’t feign the excitement he radiates about the football itself. For a non-fan at the start, he seems rapidly to have turned into something of an addict. Not only he is lapping it up, he’s eager to talk with and learn from anyone and everyone.
You can’t beat a chairman with his heart in the right place. A sentence you do not expect to write when discussing foreign owners in English football.