Alan Biggs: The biggest lesson Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri still has to learn

Slowly but surely, the signs from Sheffield Wednesday of a club and fan base closing ranks.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The removal of speculation over the manager, a new backroom team around him, encouraging moves on player recruitment and above all the stilling of “noise” in the background.

Silence creates a vacuum that, in football, is always filled. Dejphon Chansiri is an owner who prefers action to words.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chansiri has now provided plenty of one and none of the other in the wake of weeks of agitation and acrimony following a wretched season and news of the forthcoming 12-point deduction.

Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon ChansiriSheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri
Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri

If I was a supporter, I know which one I’d prefer. It’s not the first evidence of it from Chansiri, either.

The Thai chairman suffered in silence in late 2018 while supporters called for him to axe Jos Luhukay, his bewildering choice of manager. They didn’t know something this column was privately aware of - that the move to install Steve Bruce, which also happened to be ill-fated, was made a month before it was officially announced at New Year.

Chansiri couldn’t discuss that even had he wanted to, for understandable reasons. Same, albeit to a lesser extent, with the club’s protracted efforts to employ James Beattie, Darryl Flahavan and Andrew Hughes in support of Garry Monk.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Whatever criticisms are levelled at the owner, many of them fairly, lack of support for his managers - morally and financially - is not one of them.

I’d also contend that he has chosen well in three cases out of four, though, in the case of Monk, that awaits vindication.

So what is it about Chansiri that casts him as such a divisive figure for supporters when so many of his intentions, and actions, seem good?

Maybe it’s partly a cultural thing. There can be no doubt, surely, that Wednesday’s current demise is rooted in poor decision-making and strategy from the top.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When there is no chief executive and no internal football guidance, other than effectively from the head coach, the finger can’t point anywhere else but the owner, which makes Chansiri culpable.

This, for me, is the biggest lesson still for him to learn. For all we know, he may be in the process of heeding it. I hope so.

Chansiri doesn’t announce intentions, and certainly the club’s communication with supporters needs to improve.

Honour and respect are all important to him. The cultural difference is, perhaps, that while people here welcome, and even warm to, an admission of mistakes, Chansiri would maybe see this as a loss of face.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I think the majority of Owls fans would see it differently, more a gaining of face.

Because, let’s be clear, there is no “Chansiri out” campaign and nor should there be. Where would the club be for the future without his support? It’s good that he he is showing by deed that he remains in for the long haul, including the EFL points appeal (whether that is good judgment or not).

By and large, Wednesdayites don’t want a new owner, just the current one setting a new course whereby he, and his advisors, step back and allow more direction from professionals within, both on and off the field.

For all we know he may have listened to this well-intentioned advice - from absolutely everywhere (supporters, ex players, journalists).

Recruitment has been far more sensible in the past year, players have been offloaded, the squad is being overturned at last

It would be nice to think that, from this new start at a low point, everyone outside the club can be behind everyone inside it.