Erik Alonso and his bizarre relationship with Sheffield Wednesday amid bid to buy Owls from Dejphon Chansiri
It was revealed on Monday night that former advisor to Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri, Erik Alonso, was behind a bid to buy the club.
The agent, owner of WBD Sports, and described on his twitter profile as ‘boxer promoter, investor and entrepreneur’ is understood to be heading up a group of Indonesian business people who lodged an offer to buy Wednesday, believed to be in the region of £30 million.
As The Star reported, the bid was flat-out rejected by Chansiri, with sources saying that it would take a substantially higher offer than that received, for the chairman to consider selling.
The latest development marks a fresh twist in the bizarre relationship between Alonso and Wednesday which is understood to stretch back a year.
Alonso approached the club with a view to providing investment but it was then revealed late last year that he had been working as an advisor for Chansiri and at one point claimed to be a shareholder, though that claim was taken down from his social media accounts.
His company’s website, which previously listed a host of big-name footballers and sports stars, and featured the official club badges of some of the biggest teams in world football is now ‘under construction’ and now consists of just a landing page.
Once it had transpired that Alonso was working for the club, the Spaniard set about a PR offensive in which he engaged with supporters and even fielded phone calls from some.
Chansiri plays down Alonso’s role
In a media briefing on New Year’s Eve, in amongst a host of other subjects covered, Chansiri appeared to play down Alonso’s role at the club.
The Thai businessman said: “He’s one of my advisors, and has worked with me for a while now… He started helping me with regards to selling players, and with commercial things. He’s just one of the advisors, nothing special.
“He’s not a shareholder, if he - or anybody else was going to be a shareholder - he would have to be ratified by the EFL.”
It is understood that Alonso played a key role in Wednesday revealing a new strategy in late January that make the club more transparent to a grouping of supporters in a bid “to form the basis of structured, communal engagement across a range of fans’ groups.”
It is also believed that Paul Cook had been approached by Alonso with regard to the vacant manager’s job at Wednesday which led to a conflict in which Cook said he had been offered the job, a claim denied by Chansiri who went on to describe the former Wigan boss as “unprofessional”.
Alonso leaves his position
Then, on January 27, Alonso released a statement on his twitter account saying that he was stepping down from his role at Wedesday, claiming that any further involvement could result in his reputation being damaged.
Alonso posted: “Due to irreconcilable differences with the club I am sorry to say I will no longer be advising Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.
“Although it was a brief period that I was assisting the club I appreciate all the messages of support from the fans and am disappointed I wasn’t able to bring success back to such a prestigious and historic club.
“Unfortunately, due to forces around the club it became untenable to continue especially as the chances of my reputation being affected became apparent.
“It was always my intention to assist a club and the owner to bring positive results on and off the pitch back to the club.
“Should things change at the club then I would be more than happy to return and bring all the force I have to restore it to where the club should be in the Premier League.”
Chansiri hits back again
Again, Chansiri would hit back, reiterating the stance that Alonso’s role at the club was a minor one
The chairman told Yorkshire Live: "I don't understand why the media and some fans give him [Alonso] too much importance. Erik has never been an official advisor.
"Whoever has worked with the club, no one has tried to go out on social media to talk with the fans and media and try to make themselves look important and big.
"It is strange. He has never been official so how is he going to resign?
Chansiri added: "He said at the beginning he would help me with commercial and sponsors. We need help with revenue.
"I always welcome anyone who offers to help us with revenue.
"Erik said he could bring a sponsor in. I have talked with him for more than a year but he didn't bring any sponsors.
"People listen to him [Alonso] because he tries to say good things to the fans on social media so they can like him.
"I told him a long time ago that he messes with a lot of things, creating a lot of trouble for the club so I think that we should not work together. I told him he needs to show more respect and do things in a professional way to work for us.
"He came back to me to say sorry and asked me to give him another chance.
"I told him that we couldn't trust him."
Following that, Alonso posted on twitter: “I am aware of the interview which the owner of Sheffield Wednesday gave today. I do not want to at this stage turn this into a saga so for now will not be formally responding. When the time is right I will give my side of the story with proof.”
Bid comes in to buy Sheffield Wednesday
Then came last night’s news that a bid had been put in by Alonso and Indonesian backers to buy Wednesday from Chansiri, which was rejected.