Alan Biggs: Only Dejphon Chansiri can find a way out of ‘all-too-predictable’ Sheffield Wednesday malaise
When you strip it down, it’s all about having a football club to support next season.
And somehow muddling through is the best it can be for Sheffield Wednesday - until either a change of owner OR approach, one of which is essential.
Most of us are convinced of what’s required, be it a chief executive or a director of football, preferably both in my long held view.
But the bitterest, most frustrating irony is that Dejphon Chansiri is probably in no position to do the necessary right now, even if he wanted, having delayed too long to avoid putting the club in a perilous position.
Attracting people of the right calibre and affording them, as with players, would appear to be next to impossible while issues including unpaid wages and unredeemed season ticket money rumble on.
These are serious enough to freeze the club, and any plans it could make, until or unless they are resolved.
So, while it remains imperative in the longer term for the owner to step back from his catastrophic micro-managing, the immediate reality is that only he can find a path out of this crisis. Either by finding the money required or, very rapidly, a buyer.
Predators will be lurking and, while Chansiri by his very nature is never a man to be bargained down, another stark reality is that Wednesday is not worth anything like what he probably imagines to be its valuation.
Better surely, in that event, to take a knockdown price (if from decent people) than see the whole venture collapse and take nothing at all. Better certainly for supporters to whom Chansiri owes a football club to hand on.
The exact depth of this crisis is hard to fathom but words like administration are not easy to dismiss - albeit that most debts are owed to Chansiri himself - amid a surge of storm alerts ranging from players rejecting being furloughed and suggestions that contracted ones could hand in their notice.
Even before Covid, warning signals were evident. Long pre-dating those, the owner chose to ignore a stream of well-intentioned advice about his running of the club, taking exception to even mild criticism, including some from here.
It’s infuriating that so many people saw this coming, tried to help in various ways and couldn’t prevent an all-too-predictable slide.
When vital games had to be won at the end of last season and still wages weren’t paid in full, the red flag could not have been clearer.
While Chansiri has had the cards stacked against him for over a year in a way that could not have been foreseen, he has always seemed to play down the importance of gate income, so decrying the lack of it is hardly an argument he can win.
Let’s hope he can get through to July, when the burden of many heavy contracts is lifted, and be in a position to support Darren Moore rebuilding the squad.
But that can only be achieved by resolving the wage deadlock, thereby convincing targeted players that this is a safe club to join.
After that, if things are manageable again, key appointments in the running of the club are a must - no matter how results pan out in League One.
Hold tight for getting to that point.