Sheffield Wednesday comment: Social media abuse does not help unite a divided club

Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon ChansiriSheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri
Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri
As part of his 'Ask the chairman' series a little over 12 months ago, Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri held nothing back on the subject of social media.

"There are many ways in which social media can be so valuable, which we are proud to embrace at Sheffield Wednesday," said the Thai businessman. "On the other hand, social media can be harmful. Telling the same person day in, day out for example that they are not good can only have a negative effect.

"I understand social media but for supporters of any club to say damaging things about their club and the people within it, this is not so good. At the end of the day, whoever receives criticism, they are human beings too. I would not be pleased for anything bad to happen in the future because of something said on social media."

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Chansiri was due to host a fans' forum at The Octagon centre this Thursday.

But now the Owls are seeking an alternative venue for the event after The Octagon cancelled the booking due to safety concerns.

A spokesperson from the University of Sheffield said: "In response to comments on social media, the risk assessment for this event has been reviewed and updated with regards to stewarding and safety.

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'To ensure the safety of students, staff and visitors to our campus this booking has now been cancelled. We apologise to the club and fans for any inconvenience caused."

It is worth stressing again that this was the University's decision and based largely on what Wednesdayites have been writing on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. This was not the outcome the Owls wanted, hence why the club are hopeful of securing another venue for the event on Friday.

There is, understandably, plenty of negativity online surrounding Wednesday.

Much of the supporters' anger and frustration has been directed at manager Jos Luhukay in recent weeks. Wednesday are in disarray, having lost seven of their last 10 matches, and are just five points above the Championship relegation zone after nearly half the season.

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Off the field, fans have repeatedly expressed their concern over the general running of the club.

The mood is bleak at Hillsborough and it has been for some time. The atmosphere is toxic. There is a danger that things could boil over in any forum.

This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the lowest point of Chansiri's premiership.

And fans want answers. They want to see leadership from the top and have every right to ask what the strategy is to bring the good times back to S6.

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But there are ways of voicing your anger and frustration in a respectful, responsible, articulate and constructive manner. Abusing Luhukay, Chansiri and the club on social media does not help unite a divided club.

Should the forum go ahead this week, it will give the fans a platform to grill the club's hierarchy on the way forward.