Alan Biggs at Large: Why I think Sheffield Wednesday are flying in the right direction under the right type of foreign ownership

Owls Carlos Carvalhal alongside Chairman Dejphon Chansiri....PIC STEVE ELLIS
Owls Carlos Carvalhal alongside Chairman Dejphon Chansiri....PIC STEVE ELLIS
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You all know something this column doesn’t, which creates a slight disadvantage writing ahead of last night’s big game!

But one thing I do know - win or lose - is that Sheffield Wednesday are heading in the right direction under the right type of foreign ownership.

I would add the right management, too, also foreign for the first time, notwithstanding the intrigue over Carlos Carvalhal’s future. One match does not define whether or not a club is doing the right things.

Look, by comparison, at some of the other famous names in a league of historical heavyweights. All overseas controlled. All carrying big expectations. Leeds (seventh), Aston Villa (13th), Wolves (15th), Birmingham (19th), Nottingham Forest (21st), Blackburn (relegated).

It’s not entirely about performance on the field and the best example currently is Wolves where Paul Lambert, a good manager, had begun pulling things together.

Off the field, Wolves are pulling each other apart judging from Lambert’s threat to quit over the Chinese owners investing control of transfers in an agent, Jorge Mendes.

At Hillsborough, Dejphon Chansiri seems to have found a happy medium between old school management and the modern model limiting the powers of the man who picks the team. He’s found it by experimenting and learning; not by being arrogant enough to think he always knows best.

Too many ego-led foreign owners fail to apply the principles that made them successful entrepreneurs in the first place. Some observers may have feared Chansiri falling into this bracket when he installed a transfer committee at the start of his reign. The difference is the lack of conceit that prompted him to scrap it and the way he learned to trust his head coach.

Yes, there is an advisory group on recruitment under a link with Doyen Sports but I’m assured that, from lists considered, Wednesday do not sign anyone scrubbed by the head coach.

This is sensible and the way to go. For me, it’s as vital as the substantial funding the Thai tycoon will continue to provide. Those who have met Chansiri will know that he doesn’t assumeknowledge about football that he doesn’t have. He’s always keen to learn from those around him.

When Carvalhal described him as his “best chairman” in football, supporting his longest tenure as a boss, he truly meant it. I see absolutely nothing to suggest this relationship doesn’t remain strong; should Carlos leave this summer, you’d have to look elsewhere for a reason and I’m sure it would be the manager’s wish rather than the club’s.

My hunch – it’s only that – would be that staying down in the Championship (this went to press ahead of last night) might cause Carvalhal to question his tolerance level from some fans during a highly pressurised third promotion attempt and to reflect on how familiarity can breed contempt. In that event, Chansiri would have to be putting out feelers on a replacement.

But you couldn’t see Carlos walking out on a crack at the Premier League with a club that has the clout to compete. And I hope that is still in prospect as you read this!