Sheffield Wednesday: Michael Smith on deleting Rotherham United social media photos and decision to sign for Owls

Michael Smith has dismissed criticism over his decision to effectively drop a division to join Sheffield Wednesday and addressed a perceived slight at his old club Rotherham United.

Monday, 27th June 2022, 12:57 pm

The striker made the decision to switch South Yorkshire allegiances last week and together with fellow former Miller Michael Ihiekwe became the fourth and fifth signings of a busy summer at S6.

Smith is understood to have accepted a pay rise as part of the attraction of joining Darren Moore’s Wednesday promotion effort and made the decision after a protracted back-and-forth between himself, Wednesday and the Millers.

Read More

Read More
Former Sheffield United man has his say on Sheffield Wednesday's promotion chanc...
Michael Smith attracted criticism from Rotherham fans for deleting Millers photos from his social media accounts.

Rotherham were promoted in no small part thanks to his 18 League One goals last season but in conversation with the Rotherham Advertiser, Smith denied the divisional difference between the two sides made his decision difficult.

“No, not really,” he said. “I've seen things online about me dropping back down to League One but I'm okay with it.

“The move to Sheffield Wednesday was something me and my family couldn't really turn down. I know I can play at the level. I proved that last season. I'm just looking forward to getting going with Sheffield Wednesday now.”

Smith accepted he has ‘tainted’ his reputation among Rotherham supporters for joining their fiercest rivals but made clear his fond memories of his time at the club.

Just a day prior to the announcement that Smith and Ihiekwe were set to join Wednesday, popular Millers boss Paul Warne said in a press conference that he was confident of keeping ‘one or both’ of the key men.

“There were conversations with the manager at Rotherham,” Smith said. “I said I wasn't sure what I was doing and again said: 'If you need to move on, move on.' I had conversations with my family as well. The Wednesday move came up and it was a move that suited me and my family long term. It was an opportunity for me and my family that I couldn't turn down.

“I've always wanted to put my family first. It was a family decision.”

Another strand of the tale that has caught the attention of Rotherham fans is Smith’s decision to delete photographs of him playing for the Millers from his social media accounts.

The North East boy said there was a perfectly reasonable explanation and said no offence was meant.

“Do you know what? It's nowhere near as bad as it looks,” he said. “I changed my profile picture because I'm a Sheffield Wednesday player now.

“I'd had it in the back of my mind that I'd come off Instagram and Twitter for a while and give them a bit of a breather. I'm useless on the technical side of things and didn't know how to deactivate or suspend the accounts or whatever it is you do. So I just did the next best thing and made it look like I wasn't using them.

“It had absolutely nothing to do with Rotherham. It was never meant as any kind of slight.

“I've still got all those pictures on my phone, all those memories to still look back on; it's just that they're not out there for the wider public to see. I'll always look at those pictures with fondness.”