I did a column not long back about how I was starting to get a bit excited about the prospect of the new season, about how I was looking forward to seeing Darren Moore’s project come to life at Hillsborough, and how I thought there was reason to be a bit cheerful for the campaign ahead.
Since then though, I’ve had to write stories about a potential walkout over unpaid wages, I’ve had to continually refer to the fact that the club remains in a restricting embargo, and I’ve had to take any bit of transfer gossip with a pinch of salt because, frankly, Wednesday aren’t in a position to sign anybody right now.
If the embargo, which should be lifted the minute Wednesday submit their accounts for 2019/20, wasn’t enough (they can still sign free agents and secure loans without fees), the ongoing issues over unpaid wages continues to cast a shadow over the club – and I can’t see how any new players are signing until that’s been done.
I’m hearing positive things about it all. I’m led to believe that things are progressing nicely with the accounts and that there’s not too much left to finalise, and I’m also under the impression that bits of money owed to people by the club is starting to come through as Dejphon Chansiri looks to put the matter to bed.
But until that’s done, Wednesdayites won’t be able to start getting excited for the season ahead. With Moore, with the potential youthful exuberance that could be on the way, with the promise of a new-look side with less baggage, there’s a real shot at reconnection in 2021/22.
Preseason starts in 11 days, the fixtures are out in a week, and while plenty of Wednesday’s expected promotion rivals are bolstering their ranks, Owls supporters just find themselves waiting to hear a glimmer of good news.
With the season ticket prices, which are pretty much a 20% drop across the board for adults, I think they’ve gone as low as can reasonably be expected given the year that they’ve had financially. The fact that they were ‘unanimously’ agreed upon by the Supporters Engagement Panel suggests that I’m not alone in that.
But the proof will be in the pudding. After everything that’s happened over the last 18 months, it’ll be fascinating to see how many fans convert their 2020/21 ticket into a 2021/22 one.
Judging by social media, the signs are pretty good… Whatever people want to say about Wednesday fans, they’re loyal.
If the embargo can get sorted, if the wages can get straightened out, if some young faces can get through the door, if a couple more preseason friendlies can get finalised, if the new kit can get released – maybe then, Wednesdayites can well and truly look forward to getting back to S6 once again.