‘Continue to fight’ - Sheffield Wednesday opening-day foes facing boardroom battle over managerial appointment
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Sheffield Wednesday will welcome Southampton to Hillsborough in the opening game of the 2023-24 Championship campaign on Friday, August with both clubs poised to have new managers in the dugout for the fixture
The game will kick off at 8pm and be shown live on Sky Sports. The Owls are searching for a replacement to Darren Moore following his shock departure earlier this week while Russell Martin was confirmed as the new boss at the Saints on Wednesday evening.
Martin joined Southampton on a three-year deal from Swansea City but there remains a disagreement over the compensation the Welsh club are owed. Martin had 12 months remaining on his deal in Wales but has agreed a move to Saints who are among the early favourites, alongside the likes of Leeds United, to be promoted to the Premier League next season.
The 37-year-old has long been tipped to join Southampton, with a delay in his appointment said to have been caused by the disagreement over compensation owed. Martin’s release clause with Swansea is different for Championship and Premier League clubs.
The Saints have been willing to pay the smaller amount of £1.25million while Swansea have demanded the £2million, with the south coast club still classed a Premier League side at the time of their approach despite already being relegated.
A Swansea statement read: “Swansea City can confirm head coach Russell Martin has left the club to join Southampton. Martin had a little over 12 months remaining on the three-year deal he signed upon arriving at the Swansea.com Stadium in August 2021.
“The club also stands firm in our belief that we are owed full compensation for Russell, and we will continue working diligently and strategically to protect the best interests of the club.
“Swansea City would like to place on record its thanks to Russell for his work during his time in SA1. The club will update supporters regarding a new first-team coaching staff in due course.”
In a separate statement, Swans chairman Andy Coleman insisted: “We will continue to fight for what we are owed and you should expect us to do just that.”
Swansea are reportedly progressing with talks for Barnsley head coach Michael Duff to become their new manager.
Of his decision to join Southampton, Martin said: “It’s a privilege to accept this opportunity at Southampton, a club with such a long and rich history. My aim is to get this club back where it belongs - in the top flight of English football.
“I am ready for this challenge and will give everything to achieve this aim and to give the supporters a team that makes them proud. I’m thrilled to be here and cannot wait for the work to begin.”