Alan Biggs: 12 positive points about Sheffield Wednesday's 12-point deduction
Reasons to be positive about a big negative? It’s a hard job. But, amazingly, there are plenty - in terms of opportunities.
Let’s do it in 12 points:
First and foremost, assuming any appeal proves otherwise, Sheffield Wednesday are very lucky in my view to have 12 points deducted - next season. Is it fair on relegated clubs (pending any action of their own)? No, absolutely not. They will be absent from the Championship when others benefit. Owls, just be thankful and suitably relieved. You could so easily - and justly, (assuming no overturn of the EFL’s punishment) - have been relegated. A disciplinary process that was fit for purpose would have resulted in this. Starting on minus 12 offers more than a sporting chance of surviving at this level. Effectively around 62 points needed, equivalent of mid-table. It also brings into sharper focus that Championship status is something to be prized and appreciated, rather than always seen as something to escape from. More realism. No-one wildly tipping Wednesday to be promoted. No talk of minimum play-offs. For once, expectation levels give the manager a chance to build something over a period. What of that manager? Controversially, I still think the Owls have as good an operator as they could hope for - in these circumstances. And who are you going to get otherwise? Garry Monk has been through the fire of exactly this at Birmingham (survival after a nine point deduction last season). But yes, he has to produce very rapid evidence he can turn the tide running against him. Adversity can pull clubs, teams and fans together. Boy, do Wednesday need to rebuild bridges. I don’t like siege mentalities but maybe in this case it could be just what is required. Next positive. You will know that any player who moves to Hillsborough this summer will really want to play for Sheffield Wednesday. As per this column last week, the name of the club means there is still a lot going for it. And so to the football. Well, it can’t be anything other than positive, can it? No playing for a draw on minus 12. Can Hillsborough, where disgracefully Wednesday have had only a single win in 2020, be a place of entertainment again? Most importantly, the club off the field. Because that’s where it landed itself in this mess. You can understand owners wanting to spend as much as they wealth allows, resenting curbs, but rules are rules. Football is a game of buying AND selling. And success does not have to be bought. One obvious example does not need pointing out. Is the owner the right person to lead on football? No, he should step back from having the final say - because this mess is at his door. His funding will continue to be appreciated and vital - but it needs to count for far more and Dejphon Chansiri can do himself a huge favour by delegating, preferably to a new football executive with the club at heart. I can think of several candidates. Final point. Hopefully, the Owls will be wiser at all levels as a result of this ordeal. And that, hard as it may be to imagine, could just result in a big plus.