Sheffield Wednesday: Keen Owls fan Elson misses out on top job

Owls fan Ian Elson
Owls fan Ian Elson
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Lifelong Owls fan Ian Elson is out of the running to become the club’s new boss after Wednesday turned down his cheeky application.

Ian, of Stannington, Sheffield, threw his hat into the ring to succeed Stuart Gray, claiming his success on computer game Football Manager made him a strong contender for the vacant role.

Dejphon Chansiri with ex-Owls owner Mailan Mandaric

Dejphon Chansiri with ex-Owls owner Mailan Mandaric

The 35-year-old, who has played Football Manager since 1990, based the application on his “outstanding” video game prowess where he transformed the Owls into one of the “most successful” teams in European football.

Describing himself as a “no-nonsense kind of manager”, Ian also cited finishing 112th in the Telegraph Fantasy League as a reason why he would be a suitable candidate.

But he was politely informed by the club’s secretary Lindsey Taylor earlier this week that he will not be considered for the job.

In a letter, Taylor wrote: “Thank you for your letter expressing your wish to be considered for the manager’s position at Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.

“I agree that your record on Football/Championship Manager is outstanding.

“The success you have achieved in winning not only five consecutive Premier League titles but also three FA Cups, two League Cups and five European Cups on a shoe string budget is truly admirable, but, for some reason, I still have some niggling doubts as to your suitablity for the post.

“Reluctantly (although it was a struggle to reach this decision), I feel you should accept one of the several Sunday League managerial posts you have been offered and who knows, maybe in a few decades, after what will undoubtedly be a very successful career, we may well reconsider your application.”

Ian, an office worker, told The Star: “I sent in an application the day Stuart Gray got sacked.

“I did not hear anything for a couple of weeks so I thought I wasn’t going to get a reply and that they had maybe just put it in the bin. But I received a response on Wednesday and when I opened it I was with my dad and I just burst out laughing straight away.

“It was only a couple of paragraphs long and just a bit of fun. She [Taylor] took it in good spirits and sent a very humorous response. It was good banter.”

He quipped: “At one point, I thought they were delaying the managerial appointment because they were considering me for the job!”

It is not the first occasion Ian has applied to become Owls boss.

“I tried five years ago and I got a short standard response saying they were looking at other options,” said Ian, who has been a Wednesday season ticket-holder for 25 years.