Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri’s credibility, reputation and relationship with fans beyond saving - Alan Biggs
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Worse even than the club being attacked, from inside and out? Being mocked. Worse than anger? Apathy. That feeling of helplessness; that you might as well laugh as cry. The state of Sheffield Wednesday right now after the worst start in their history.
And worse than being rock bottom of the Championship? Well, at this rate it could be measured by a division - or two - yet. Which I’ve even heard some fans say would be worth it to get rid of this regime. That’s when you know it’s bad, catastrophically bad.
With a badly misguided choice of manager who looks like he wants to be put out of his misery. Compounded by whether an unjustifiably disgruntled owner has the will or resources to correct his epic bungling. Would Neil Warnock, the name on many desperate lips, take it? You bet! (where many other reputable managers would fear to tread). But maybe it’s too sensible and logical a suggestion to happen.
All the more tragic because Wednesday have had all the commitment and funding you could possibly hope for from an owner. Completely obliterated by his blatant misdirection from the top, against a tidal wave of good advice.
Which, if there was any humour to be had, brings me to a dry observation I saw last week - that Wednesday have had more chairman’s statements (three) than points (two) this season. A circus and a laughing stock, as one media colleague has referred to it. Too true.
And that hurts far more than a spell of all-too- predictable wretched results. For which, yes, the manager and players can be fairly blamed; the former most of all in my opinion. But fluctuations in results are cycles all clubs go through. In this case, though, so ridiculously avoidable.
The hope can only be that, for the sake not least of the family name plastered all over Hillsborough, the owner is genuinely open to offers and is prepared to negotiate reasonably on what must be a diminishing valuation.
There is a sporting institution to save. The man most responsible for reducing it to all of the above is surely beyond saving in terms of his credibility, reputation and relationship with supporters.
All this column’s thoughts now are with a fan base which, despite his attacks on it, is hugely strong and supportive (with routine away day sell-outs) and also the staff at the club, many of whom are lifelong Wednesdayites. It must hurt them even harder to see the club in this position. And they don’t have a voice to say so.
There are good people with careers in there who don’t deserve being damaged by association. Not that they can be held to account - because all the calls have been made from above, many surely against well-intentioned professional advice.
Ultimately, though, we can be confident of one thing. There might be a lot more pain in the process (sorry about that nonsense word applied to current team strategy) but Sheffield Wednesday won’t die. It is bigger than any one individual or any current set of supporters.
A century and a half of proud tradition, and sheer willpower on the part of the people who love it, will surely see to that.
Dejphon Chansiri always insists upon the last word, though, and so, however foolish, here it is.
Key sentence on the discarded Darren Moore, who’s back at Hillsborough with Huddersfield on Saturday: “I did not have complete confidence in him to manage in the Championship.”