Wednesday are capable of competing strongly in the Championship despite being at an “unfair” financial disadvantage, says chairman Milan Mandaric.
Some rivals already have millions in parachute money and the pay-out for clubs relegated from the Premier League is going up to £60m over four years.
But the Owls chief insists that a well-managed outfit can still make an impact in the division.
“It is a difficult situation; there is a bigger gap being built between the Premier League and us,” he told an audience of businessmen and women at a Hillsborough dinner.
“Clubs are coming down with millions more than we have. But if you look at the clubs who have come down, we can play quite easily against them; they do also bring a burden with them, players who are a liability.
“There is still room for a solid club that does make good choices and has a good manager who is surrounded by good coaching staff and understands the game on and off the field.
“We can compete. There are always possibilities
“The gap is getting bigger and bigger. I call it an unfair financial situation.
“We have to be wiser, smarter and more shrewd and have good management that understands that and puts things together properly.”
Mandaric was speaking at a City of Steel celebration dinner, hosted by the Owls to mark the centenary of the invention of stainless steel in Sheffield and forge further links between the club and the business community.
The chairman said he loves the club and the supporters and will do everything possible to advance it: “It doesn’t mean I won’t make mistakes. I made a few already; I’ll probably make more, but we are going to go into next season and see what we can do better than this year.”
Manager Dave Jones said: “There are clubs struggling with massive wage bills. QPR are an example; they are going to be relegated; they tried to buy their way out of it in the January window. Those players are going to sit there because the club has to pay them.
“Two clubs clubs who came down from the Premier League could go into League One and have players on £20,000 to £30,000 a week. How do you sustain that?”
Jones cited West Brom, Stoke and Swansea who have gone up and stabilised themselves in the Premier League through prudent management.