Former Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal opens up on his Hillsborough departure

Depending on their outlook, Sheffield Wednesday fans will look back on the Carlos Carvalhal era as one of near-glory or of failure.

Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 17:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 18:22 pm

And conspiracy theories were ignited when the Portuguese admitted, on being unveiled as manager of then-Premier League Swansea City just four days after leaving Hillsborough, that he had been approached to become their manager on previous occasions.

Carvalhal, who was signed on at Wednesday on a one-year rolling contract, has made it clear that his departure – with Wednesday languishing in the bottom half of the table despite a two-year diet of play-off qualification – was not of his making.

Despite admitting contact with other clubs during that time, he has said he was not distracted and that he would have preferred to stay.

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In an interview with The Totally Football Show, the 53-year-old said: “I like Sheffield Wednesday. I’m an Owl in this moment. When I arrived at Swansea, I mentioned that they had contact with me in the past, and the people said that I was talking with them [while still at Wednesday] and was preparing to go. It is a complete lie.

“I just want to inform all the Sheffield Wednesday fans that after the first season I was a free manager, because I sign all the time for just one season. I had invitations to go to the Championship to good clubs, and one invitation to go to the Premier League.

“But I preferred to stay in Sheffield, and I said to the chairman I will only leave the club when you decide, it was not about my decision.”

The Portuguese has managed just two competitive matches back in his homeland with top-tier Rio Ave, but in the eyebrow-raising interview, announced his intention to return to England as early as next season.

Carlos Carvalhal with Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri during his time at the club.

Speaking to The Totally Football Show, the 53-year-old said: “I hope that next season we can go back to England again because that is what really I wish.”

Carvalhal has signed his customary one-year contract with Rio Ave, but doesn’t appear to be planning a future in Portugal beyond that. “You have the best country in football of the world. Absolutely. Absolutely sure.”