MILAN Mandaric likes to surround himself with men of football experience.
He appointed Gary Megson as team manager and Paul Aldridge as vice-chairman.
Andy Daykin fits the bill as well - the Owls’ new commercial director is approaching his 30th anniversary in the game.
The former Sheffield United executive is not a man to blow his own trumpet but Mandaric regards the arrival of Daykin and head of retail Peter Pridmore as “very important”.
Daykin’s football story began when he was growing up in Millhouses: “My parents didn’t like football, so I grew into football myself. I used to go to Hillsborough one week and Bramall Lane the next, but because Bramall Lane was closer and I could walk there, United became more my club, when I was a kid - but I stood outside the Town Hall when Wednesday came back after the 1966 FA Cup Final.”
His employment has been spent mostly with United but includes spells at Hull and Barnsley.
“When you are working for a club and watching the team every week, that’s the team you support,” he says.
Daykin, aged 57, is also chairman of the Institute of Football Management and Administration, so is a long-standing acquaintance of LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson.
“My role isn’t just about bringing money into the club,” he says. “Of course that’s important, but it’s also about helping the club to develop and make improvements in all areas.
“You can have the best set-up in the world off the pitch, but if the product on the pitch
isn’t attractive enough to get people interested, it’s more difficult.
“Everybody matters, from the guy who comes once a year, the ones who come to every game, and of course, the corporate guests.
“I care about people and I believe that people buy from people; obviously, though, what you’re selling is important as well.
“When it comes to corporate sales, I believe that all clients require a return on their investment, whether that be an emotional return or an enhancement of their own business. You have to empathise and seek to deliver above expectation levels, which is not always easy.” Nobody here has a magic wand. but everybody is working hard to take the club forward.
“I really believe that Mr Mandaric has a long-term dream for the club and wants to make this his city. Both he and Paul Aldridge have the experience required to put Sheffield Wednesday back on the football map.”