Former Sheffield Wednesday manager: Owls need to emulate rivals off the field in major rebuild

Sheffield Wednesday are falling behind their two biggest rivals off the field as well as on it, according to one of the club’s former managers.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 6:00 am

Chris Turner, a lifelong Wednesday supporter who went on to play for the club in two successful spells and manage the club from 2002-04, believes the club needs a more forward-thinking strategy both commercially and in terms of player recruitment in order to climb out of an on-field funk that sees them battling for safety in the Championship.

Speaking ahead of kick-off on The Star’s live watchalong of Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Birmingham, he said: “The best two teams we’ve seen in the Championship in recent years, and I don’t like saying this, are Sheffield United and Leeds. They’ve been superb.

“They’re two teams that play the same football home and away. They play on the front foot, they go out and attack.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Former Sheffield Wednesday manager Chris Turner has urged Wednesday to reassess their commercial output.

“They have a plan on and off the field, they didn’t quite get there the first season they were challenging, but they went out and did it the next season. That’s what we’ve got to try to emulate... They both went into the Premier League and have done well.

“We have a club across the city that are leaving us miles behind on the field, off the field. In ticket prices, commercial prices, club shop prices, strips we sell.

“We’re losing a generation of fans. That’s what this guy doesn’t understand.”

Turner, 62, said there must be a pricing restructure on everything from merchandise to tickets in order to re-engaged lapsed supporters.

“The kits are expensive,” he said. “People don’t buy them in the same numbers anymore. You see red and white stripes. We’ve got to get back to basis and rebuild the club and everything we have to offer supporters.

“I’ve spoken to sponsors that have had boxes at Hillsborough for 20 years, they’re not there anymore.

“With 25,000 people in backing that team, it’d give us 20 points a season. But the attitude is ‘It doesn’t matter if there is nobody in the stadium, I’ve got the money to run the club.’ That’s fine. But it isn’t running too well is it?”

MORE FROM OUR WEDNESDAY WRITING TEAM

*

Thank you for reading this article, one of dozens we publish every single day to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative coverage of YOUR club. This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to from the football team at The Star, please consider taking out a subscription to our new discounted sports-only package. You'll find all the details at www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions/sports.

Your support is much appreciated.

Chris Holt, Football Editor