Alan Biggs at Large: Sheffield Wednesday’s play-off push should park takeover for owner Milan Mandaric

Sheffield Wednesday owner Milan Mandaric.
Sheffield Wednesday owner Milan Mandaric.
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It’s a different ball game all of a sudden and Milan Mandaric’s resolve to give it a kick is very welcome.

No matter that most pundits think that Sheffield Wednesday are over-performing.

No matter they have a goal difference of –1.

No matter that they are the second lowest scorers in the Championship.

The fact is that Wednesday are just four points outside the play-offs.

This is a big moment and a big opportunity.

It’s the closest the Owls have been to realistically pursuing a place in the top six since they exited the Premier League fully 15 years ago.

Let’s freeze-frame on the league table and push aside for the time being at least the financial realities that leave the club needing a new backer.

This – rather than that – could be the answer. Short term and long.

There’s no fix like promotion and no more attractive carrot for investors and would-be new players.

Get the next month right and you could actually be heading for the lottery of the play-offs with, who knows, a winning ticket?

Get it right in this window and you could be involved in more than one set of “advanced takeover talks”, thereby pushing up the club’s appeal and maybe the price.

But the next trick is to try to blank all that and focus purely on the field.

Only the most rapid buy-out could give Wednesday some muscle in this window and that seems highly unlikely.

Park that thought.

Of course, gratitude to owner Milan Mandaric should never be lost.

After a problematic start, Wednesday have progressed in each of his four seasons. There is only so much a man can do. He has done more than enough.

But Milan has this saying that, in order to be a successful chairman, “you need to act with your head AND your heart.”

It’s what separates him from those plundering (and blundering) opportunists who have no feel for the game – and those who are reckless in pursuit of personal glory.

A moment has arrived at which two of the chairman’s vital organs will be at battle stations.

To what extent will Milan let his heart talk his head into seizing what could be the main chance? Maybe he will try to fund an unexpected signing or two, albeit dealing mainly in loans (which people forget are expensive).

You can never categorically rule out a sale because “every player has a price.”

But it’s obviously best to keep key players in an ideal world and only deviate if the cash is good enough to be re-invested to the betterment of the team.

Not all of those who understandably countered my opinion on Keiren Westwood last week will have recognised my clear proviso.

Like them, I rate Westwood above the £2m I said I’d take, but question whether bidders would go higher - and ask whether the cash could take the Owls further with a restless Chris Kirkland in reserve?

Remember, there was/is only an allowance for loans. But, of course, it would be far preferable to keep what you hold and add to it.

If Wednesday can do that, as per Mandaric’s stated intention, an outside chance could turn into an excellent one.