Alan Biggs: Sheffield Wednesday on right track with recruitment even with EFL charge hanging over them
It’s a myth that you need big money to escape the Championship ... and just as well for Sheffield Wednesday.
The legacy of them trying it that way and failing, albeit narrowly, is painful; an agonising wait for the EFL hearing verdict and worrying reports that some players have not been fully paid.
You do need money. But not at the levels Wednesday have frittered. What you need more is sound, value for money recruitment; a key part of the Owls’ operation that has been criticised, here not least, and rightly in my view.
But let’s hope a line can be drawn under what got the club to this perilous point and we can acknowledge pointers to lessons learned.
Recent recruitment has not been as eye-catching or expensive, but it has been a step up on what went before.
Signings during Steve Bruce’s brief reign set a standard that has broadly continued during Garry Monk’s tenure.
Of ten signings, permanent or on loan, the only write-off to this point has been defender David Bates. Moses Odubajo still has points to prove but overall it’s a healthy ratio.
Dominic Iorfa and Kadeem Harris have been notable successes, Julian Borner has settled in usefully and Massimo Luongo adds the sort of midfield devil the team has lacked for some time.
It was also a no-brainer this week to extend the loans of Connor Wickham, Alessio Da Cruz, Jacob Murphy and Josh Windass.
If Monk and the club continue in this vein during the close-season then a steady recovery is on the cards.
I say “steady” so as not to raise expectations to unrealistic levels. Wednesday are heavily reliant on loans at this point and won’t have a lot of cash to splash (even if they avoid punitive measures from an EFL “trial” heading into a seventh day as this was written).
The important thing will be to create a settled and together group. That part will take time after so much change.
But you don’t have to look far from Hillsborough to see what can be achieved from good recruitment and management that doesn’t rely on a chequebook.
Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri doesn’t take kindly to criticism - who does? - and I suppose it is also human nature not to admit mistakes when so many are pointing the finger.
But, whether by necessity or design, a new course has to be set and I believe Chansiri will retain a fund of goodwill for continuing to show admirable levels of commitment to the club.
Certainly, his fortitude in support of his managers has been admirable also.
While breaths are being held this week we should remember that.
Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues. The Star is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.
You can subscribe here www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions for unlimited access to Sheffield news and information online. Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.