Sheffield Wednesday Digest: Derby County uncertainty; Another bid for Josh Windass; Rival boss backs Wednesday for promotion
Millwall don’t look to have given up on signing Josh Windass from Sheffield Wednesday, after the Owls turned down a second bid for the forward from Millwall.
Windass’ situation is one that is expected to drag on as he remains a target for several clubs in the Championship, with Stoke City, Fulham and Birmingham City amongst the others who are considering a move for him.
Now, after The Star reported that Wednesday’s current standpoint was that the 27-year-old was not for sale at any price, it is thought that the Owls have now turned down a second approach believed to be worth in the region of £1m.
Another exit could be on cards from Hillsborough
Sheffield Wednesday are very much in a transition stage at this point in time, and there could be another behind the scenes exit on the cards.
The Owls have already seen their head of sports science and medicine Tony Strudwick join Arsenal’s academy, and now there’s a possibility that first team analyst Carl Blakemore could be on his way out too.
Blakemore, who joined the Owls last year following the appointment of Tony Pulis, is believed to have attracted interest from the Championship, but it remains to be seen whether a move will actually materialise or not.
Owls looking for more than ability in new signings
Character checks on targeted players are standard practice. But they will be more important than ever at Sheffield Wednesday this summer - if or, more hopefully, when the theory finally becomes practical.
That the club currently has a limited field for recruitment - only free agents and non-fee-paying loans - suggests it can’t be too picky.
Actually the reverse ought to be true, particularly in the case of younger players making their way in the game.
For them League One might not be too daunting; playing for Sheffield Wednesday certainly can be.
No disrespect to, say, Lincoln, Crewe or Accrington, but turning out for a fallen giant in the third tier demands something more than ability.
Pete McKee launches alternative Wednesday shirt
Famed Sheffield artist Pete McKee is launching an alternative Sheffield Wednesday shirt featuring an ‘exasperated owl’.
McKee, a lifelong Owl, has done plenty of Wednesday-related artwork in the past and is now bringing a bit of Owls fashion to the table – with a twist of humour, on the back of the club’s relegation into League One
Police officer convicted of killing former Owl
PC Benjamin Monk, of West Mercia force, has been convicted of killing former Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa player Dalian Atkinson at Birmingham crown court.
Atkinson was tasered for 33 seconds and kicked twice in the head while he was on the ground, and while Monk, 43, was not found guilty of murder, he was found guilty of manslaughter – becoming the first officer convicted of manslaughter during the course of his duties in over three decades.
The standard length of a taser is just five seconds, the court was told, substantially less than the 33 seconds that Atkinson was subjected to, though the defence claimed that it was delivered by mistake, and ‘in complete confusion and panic’.
Steve Evans’ view on Wednesday’s chances next season
There may not be too much optimism around Hillsborough at the moment, but that hasn’t dampened expectations for Sheffield Wednesday in League One among some onlookers.
Gillingham boss Steve Evans has tipped the Owls to be there or thereabouts next year, despite their financial woes.
He said: “EFL 1 has Sunderland, Charlton, Rotherham, Wycombe, Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town, Wigan Athletic, Oxford United, Shrewsbury Town, Doncaster Rovers and Plymouth Argyle all expected to compete for automatic promotion.
“So our task to improve on last season’s 10th place finish is a huge ask given the resources, but we will be organised, efficient and we will also have a number of exceptional players in our squad. We will find a way to be competitive; the challenge is exciting in a league that many are now describing as a Championship 2.”
Derby County uncertainty
And late last night the EFL released a statement indicating that there’ll be a little bit of uncertainty around today’s fixture release as the ongoing investigations into Derby County continue.