Sheffield Wednesday could struggle to get rid of biggest earners says Owls’ great Mel

Steven Fletcher. Pic: Steve Ellis.
Steven Fletcher. Pic: Steve Ellis.
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Sheffield Wednesday will struggle to offload their “massive” earners this summer, according to an Owls legend.

Mel Sterland, who made 347 appearances for Wednesday, believes some of the highest earners at the club should be shipped out after under-par performances.

Owls' legend Mel Sterland.

Owls' legend Mel Sterland.

But he says that their long contracts make that a difficult prospect as clubs simply won’t want to fork out huge transfer fees.

Sterland in particular singled out strikers such as Steven Fletcher and Jordan Rhodes, both of whom struggled to hold down first-team spots last season managing a meagre seven league goals between them.

Sterland told the Star: “Wednesday have got Rhodes, Fletcher and (Fernando) Forestieri who are all massive earners and all probably have a year or two years left on their contracts.

“Its difficult to get rid of people like that.

“Who’s going to pay those wages and transfer fees and take them off Wednesday’s hands?

“They’re probably on 30, 40 or even 50 grand a week.

“There’s not many football clubs in that league who will pay that much.

“It’s hard to get rid of players when they’re tied down to these contracts and earning as much as they are.”

Owls’ owner Dejphon Chansiri is under pressure to ensure that the club doesn’t fall foul of the EFL’s ‘Profitability and Sustainability’ structure or Financial Fair Play.

The chairman has previously warned supporters that it would become a factor in the money the club is able to spend on new players next season.

Sterland believes that the struggle to shift high-earners may mean manager Jos Luhukay is stuck with them for the 2018/19 season.

If that is the case, the 57-year-old believes better quality from the flanks is required to get the most out of a talented striker pool that underachieved last term.

He added: “I don’t think they got the ball into the box as much when Carlos Carvalhal was there.

“These aren’t players what are going to score 40-yard screamers or take three or four people on and smash it in the top corner.

“They need the ball in the box and Wednesday weren’t doing that at all last year.

“Hopefully Jos will be looking at that to try and get some quality crosses into the box.”

n Meanwhile, today is the final day for season ticket purchases before a price rise.

The deadline is 5pm if purchasing in store and midnight online.