Alan Biggs: Some friendly advice for Sheffield Wednesday chairman Chansiri

Dejphon Chansiri at Derby on Saturday.....Pic Steve Ellis
Dejphon Chansiri at Derby on Saturday.....Pic Steve Ellis
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Presuming to tell a very wealthy man how to run a business seems, well, a bit rich.

Especially when he has lavished large amounts on transforming it beyond recognition.

In this testing time for Sheffield Wednesday, which cannot be remotely compared to past traumas, no-one should overlook the stability and ambition Dejphon Chansiri has brought to Hillsborough. He has invested way beyond any previous owner or director, not to mention his devotion in time away from his home in Thailand.

As a self-confessed football novice, Chansiri has been learning on the job with the occasional change of course, as with his early disbandment of a transfer committee. Hopefully he will now take heed of some lessons yet to be learned amid a wave of protest on various issues.

Supporters have raised valid and heartfelt concerns, not least over the apparently inflated price of kit finally put on sale three months late.

There was previous consternation over match ticket prices, much scepticism over Club 1867 (the offer of a three-year pass for the Premier League if, and when, the Owls get there); and ongoing hostility to the pricing of hospitality boxes.

Chansiri’s motives are clear and understandable enough. If he is gambling hugely then he feels it’s reasonable for supporters to back him with their own cash.

It’s also worth pointing out that if Wednesday were currently near the top of the Championship then none of the above would have raised quite so much fuss. Results are king and they are particularly unkind on him right now.

However, the picture now presented of the club as a whole has put a fierce spotlight on Chansiri; how much he has taken on personally and whether he needs to delegate more. I think he does and reckon you’d find many looking in from outside sharing that view.

Some say Chansiri doesn’t listen. In fact, he does. A lot. I doubt any chairman takes more notice of the media or message boards.

He is, I think, acutely sensitive to it and maybe surprised by the culture of criticism in this country, not least in the hothouse of football. Just last night (AFTER this went to press) he was meeting the fans’ “steering group.”

It’s not that Chansiri doesn’t listen. It is perhaps that he doesn’t take as much notice as he should. Not that it isn’t commendable he’s a principled man whose loyalty to his head coach has been particularly laudable.

But he’s in territory that would test even the sagest football expert.

My impression is that he needs specialised guidance to construct a proper joined-up transfer policy which shouldn’t over-rely on one man, minus an intimate knowledge of the game, calling the shots.

These are general points unrelated to the debate raging over Carlos Carvalhal, who at least saw from players in defeat at Derby some of the mental backbone this column – and then he himself – demanded last week. There has to be more of that urgently to keep him in the job.

Off the field, I think Chansiri needs to remember where he is operating – an essentially working class city where supporters are intensely loyal but money is tight. Many voices must be stressing this.

Otherwise, there are many positives in what he’s doing. No doubting of his sincerity and commitment; nothing false about his fervour for the club. That’s from someone who’s seen his eyes light up.

Respectfully, it’s about doing himself a favour by listening to – and acting upon – some of what he reads and hears.