Sheffield Wednesday: Barry Bannan's praise for influential Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri
Midfielder Barry Bannan has hailed chairman Dejphon Chansiri's contribution in Wednesday's march to the Championship Play-Off final.
Chansiri has financially backed Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal in the transfer market, sanctioning 18 loan and permanent signings during the 2015/16 campaign.
Carvalhal has recruited wisely, moulded the team together and turned them into one of the most consistent sides in the division.
Now Wednesday meet Hull City in an all-Yorkshire affair at Wembley today, kick-off 5pm, knowing they stand just 90 minutes from returning to the Premier League for the first time since 2000.
Bannan, an integral member of the Owls’ side, told The Star: “The chairman deserves massive amounts (of credit). Obviously he has come in and he’s brought the manager in which has been brilliant as well.
“He’s spent money on some of the players that have come in through the door which has been brilliant. He’s given the manager the backing of the money and stuff and the manager has spent it wisely so a lot of it has to go down to the chairman as well as he’s turned the club on its head.”
Promotion to the top-flight would cap off a fine personal season for Bannan, who has resurrected his career at Hillsborough.
A change in club and shirt number has brought the Scotland international plenty of good fortune.
“I asked for shirt number 25 after I signed, so I thought I was getting that one,” said Bannan.
“I then I got a phone call about an hour later saying that the chairman wants me to wear 41 because it’s a lucky number for him in Thailand.
“To be fair, if we win on Saturday, I’ve been proved right really. I’ve had a good season and so I think I will be keeping it for the rest of my career now.”
Things have not always gone according to plan for Wednesday or Carvalhal this year, but the Owls head coach is grateful for the support he has received throughout the ups and downs from Thai businessman Chansiri.
Carvalhal, contracted to Wednesday until 2019, conceded: “I appreciate that he chose me in the first place. After seven games, we were in 19th position and all the time he supported me and my staff. He gave confidence to us and that was crucial.
“Even if I have invitations with other clubs with more money and status at this moment, my answer to the chairman was I wanted to stay because I like the club, the chairman and the fans.
“I don’t have any kind of reason to move. It is not the money that moves me. I’m happy here.”
Whatever happens against the Tigers, Bannan is convinced Wednesday, who will be roared on by over 39,000 fans, are on the right path.
“The chairman has come in and showed his backing,” said Bannan, who played in the second-tier final six years ago for Blackpool. “He has showed his power so I think that there is only one way up for this club.
“Hopefully we can start by getting into the Premier League on Saturday.”