EXCLUSIVE: Why Dejphon Chansiri feels Steve Bruce is the right man to take Sheffield Wednesday forward

Steve Bruce begins his job as Sheffield Wednesday manager next week
Steve Bruce begins his job as Sheffield Wednesday manager next week
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Dejphon Chansiri vividly remembers the first time he met Steve Bruce.

"When we played Hull in my first year, I went into the dressing room and Carlos [Carvalhal] introduced me to Steve and I chatted a little bit with him," the Owls owner told The Star.

Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri has explained why he chose to appoint Steve Bruce as manager

Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri has explained why he chose to appoint Steve Bruce as manager

It was Bruce's Hull City team that denied Wednesday a place in the Premier League, defeating their Yorkshire rivals 1-0 in the 2016 Championship play-off final at Wembley after a stunning Mo Diame strike.

Chansiri said: "Even when we lost at Wembley, I still congratulated Steve. I think he is a good person and personality."

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As a manager, Bruce has won promotion to the top-flight on four occasions -  - twice with Birmingham City (2002 and 2007) and twice with Hull (2013 and 2016). He also guided Aston Villa to the play-off final last term where they lost 1-0 to Fulham.

Bruce's first Wednesday match will be against Ipswich Town

Bruce's first Wednesday match will be against Ipswich Town

"I like Steve personally and I think he is the best choice for the club," said Chansiri. "He has a good record.

"If you look at his CV, he has won four promotions and he came close in the play-offs last year."

Bruce, who enjoyed a glittering playing career, claiming three Premier League titles and three FA Cups - including two doubles - with Manchester United, was sacked by Villa back in October after a poor run of form.

But the vastly-experienced Bruce quickly emerged Wednesday's top target following Jos Luhukay's departure. He was named Luhukay's successor on January 2 and officially begins his new role at the beginning of next month.

The 58-year-old is currently away on a pre-planned holiday. Bruce pledged to spend Christmas and New Year with his family after the trauma of losing his mum and dad last year before returning to management. Bruce has been spotted in Barbados this week.

Steve Agnew, Bruce's long-time coaching associate along with Stephen Clemence, has been in caretaker charge of the Owls, masterminding two victories, a draw and one defeat. Sunday's FA Cup fourth round tie at Chelsea will be Agnew's last fixture before Bruce arrives as Wednesday's manager.

Bruce, the second person after Danny Wilson to manage both Sheffield clubs, will take over a Wednesday side in the bottom half of the division, 11 points shy of the play-offs with 18 matches remaining. His first fixture at the helm will be the Owls' trip to rock-bottom Ipswich Town a week on Saturday.

Chansiri is looking forward to working with Bruce but stressed his arrival does not guarantee success.

He said: "There are no guarantees in football. It is fine margins.

"Fulham went up last season and then sacked Slovisa Jokanovic. Huddersfield have also just changed their manager.

"Football is all about results. You can be good today and the devil tomorrow."

Nearly four years have passed since Chansiri bought the Owls from Milan Mandaric. His passion for Wednesday is undeniable, with a total investment of around £200m. Chansiri has presided over two top-six finishes in his first two full seasons followed by a disappointing 15th position last time around.

He accepts not all of his decisions have been popular. He recently apologised to supporters after the club were placed under a soft embargo between April and August after falling foul of the English Football League's Profitability and Sustainability (P&S) rules. 

Now the Owls have relaunched the Club 1867 campaign to combat P&S regulations and Chansiri has pleaded with Wednesdayites to get behind the scheme.

Chansiri said: "I want our fans to show it is not just my money they want me to spend. Now is the time for everyone to come together and show trust and not just give the word. 

"We can make our club the very best. I have never asked anyone who cannot afford to buy anything for even one penny. To those who invested in Club 1867, I say thank you for supporting me without thinking of worth. 

"I can also think of worth myself but I do not wish to do that, I want to finish the job I started but we have a problem that we can only solve together. If our fans really trust me, we will go together for the next part of the 1867 campaign and I truly hope we will be a great team."

Chansiri's critics have questioned why he has not sold some of Wednesday's best players to ensure they remain within the confines of P&S.

However, since last summer and including the current transfer window, the Owls have received no official bids for their prized assets.

As with any transfer, all three parties: the buying club, the selling club and player must be satisfied for a deal to go through.

One thing is certain, Wednesday face more financial problems unless they gain promotion to the Premier League this season.

Sheffield Wednesday fans column