An absolute car crash – Breaking down probably the worst Sheffield Wednesday season of all time

It’s been one to forget for Sheffield Wednesday.

By Joe Crann
Saturday, 8th May 2021, 5:00 pm
Sheffield Wednesday's 2020/21 season was horrendous. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Sheffield Wednesday's 2020/21 season was horrendous. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

While performances have so often been abject, it’s tough to call this group of players the worst Wednesday team of all time. After all, that’s subjective, and requires the person to have seen every season since 1867 – and if you ask fans who saw teams in the 1970s and early 2000s, possibly just not true.

They’ve been lower than this, but with the off-the-field madness, on-the-field woes, and COVID-19 chaos, it’s probably got a shout of being the worst Wednesday season of all time. The carnage began before it started, and it’s just never stopped.

They picked up a single point from a losing position, and threw away a grand total of 29 points from winning positions… On top of that they’ve had no in-stadium support or revenue for more than a year now due to the Coronavirus pandemic – and there are ongoing issues with season-ticket refunds.

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Here’s a breakdown of the disastrous 2020/21 season that has now resulted in relegation back into League One and led to growing questions about what lies ahead for Dejphon Chansiri’s battered and bruised Owls.

July 31st 2020

Wednesday are docked 12 points for breaking English Football League spending rules. They will start the season rock bottom of the Championship with a huge gap to make up.

October 16th 2020

The summer transfer window ends with Aden Flint and Jack Marriott making it nine signings. Only two of the nine can be reasonably deemed a success, six have made less than 10 Championship starts.

October 28th 2020

After just four games, Flint picks up a serious hamstring injury. His loan is cut short, and he then goes on to play a starring role in Cardiff City’s resurgence under Mick McCarthy.

November 4th 2020

SWFC have their 12-point deduction halved on appeal, with the findings of an independent panel later being released that aren’t a good look for anybody – the club, the EFL nor the people involved.

November 5th 2020

A marathon press conference with Chansiri has numerous talking points in it, one of which was a claim that negative social media coverage had potentially cost the club a sponsorship deal worth ‘eight or nine figures’ over the space of 10 years.

November 9th 2020

Garry Monk is fired by the Owls despite having recently brought in his own technical team and a host of players that he felt could save the club from relegation.

December 13th 2020

Not too long after making his comeback from injury, reigning Player of the Year, Dominic Iorfa, ruptures his Achilles and is ruled out for the rest of the season.

December 17th 2020

Talk of the PFA being called upon amid unpaid wages at the club. It’s not the first time, and not the last, but eventually everyone is paid in full.

December 28th 2020

Tony Pulis is fired by Chansiri after a torrid start to life in charge of the Owls. There’s talk of a breakdown in the relationship between the two.

December 31st 2020

Chansiri goes on a remarkable tirade against Pulis, saying he threatened to not turn up for training and was ‘going to damage my club’.

January 4th 2021

A COVID-19 outbreak at the club leads to a complete shutdown of the club’s Middlewood Road training complex. Several people at the club, players and non-playing staff, test positive and are forced into isolation.

January 9th 2021

Wednesday name just four subs on the bench in an FA Cup game against Exeter City, with academy coach, Andy Holdsworth, taking the team after numerous members of the technical team test positive for COVID-19, including stand-in manager, Neil Thompson.

January 13th 2021

Two Championship games are postponed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, with SWFC not having enough players available to fulfil the fixtures.

January 27th 2021

Owls advisor, Erik Alonso, ‘leaves’ in a blaze of glory, talking of ‘forces around the club’ that made it ‘untenable’. He then tried to buy Wednesday from Chansiri, failed, and then went on to buy Derby County.

February 1st 2021

Transfer Deadline Day comes and goes. Wednesday’s only involvement is selling Conor Grant to Rochdale despite numerous hopes for new recruitment. January involves the return of Sam Hutchinson and arrival of free agent, Andre Green.

February 2nd 2021

Influential midfielder, Massimo Luongo, played his final minutes of the season to date before another injury setback. He’s made 12 appearances all season.

February 12th 2021

A game against Swansea City is called off due to a frozen pitch. There was a problem with the primary heating system boiler that powers the undersoil heating.

February 27th 2021

Wednesday go 2-0 up against Luton Town and are cruising – they’re getting out of the relegation zone. Then they concede three goals in the second half and lose 3-2.

March 3rd 2021

A late Freddie Ladapo goal gave Rotherham United their first ever league double over the Owls, a few months after they’d picked up their biggest ever win over their South Yorkshire rivals.

March 10th 2021

It had already been reported previously, but the club confirmed that academy graduate – and lifelong Owl – Liam Shaw had signed a precontract to join Celtic after his breakout first season. They’ll get about £300,000 in compensation.

April 2nd 2021

New Owls boss, Darren Moore, tests positive for Coronavirus and is forced into a 10-day isolation. He misses three games, with his assistant Jamie Smith becoming the sixth different man to take charge of a game in the campaign. Not long afterwards, Paul Williams also tests positive.

April 15th 2021

A couple of days after his return to the sidelines, Moore is worryingly taken to hospital with pneumonia and blood clots brought on by COVID-19, and no date is given for his potential return.

May 8th 2021

Judgement Day. After months of torment, following disagreements within the fanbase, criticisms of numerous individuals, calls of Chansiri Out and sucker punch defeats, Wednesday’s return to League One is confirmed in dramatic fashion via a 3-3 final-day draw against Derby County.