Sheffield Wednesday: Whelan hopes Owls get back in the big time

Glenn Whelan
Glenn Whelan
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Glenn Whelan has welcomed Dejphon Chansiri’s takeover of Sheffield Wednesday and hopes the Thai businessman will lead the club back into the top flight.

It was just over a week ago Chansiri completed his £37.5m buyout of the Championship outfit.

Fifthteen years have passed since the Owls last dined at the top table of English football but Chansiri, whose family owns Thai Union Frozen Group, has set his sights on a Premier League return within the next two years to coinicide with their 150th anniversary in 2017.

Former Owls midfielder Whelan told The Star: “It is great the club have been taken over and it would be brilliant if they could get back into the Premier League.

“Sheffield Wednesday are a massive club with a great stadium. Hopefully the new owners will give them a chance of maybe getting promoted next season.”

Chansiri, aged 46, has wasted no time in freshening things up off the field, promising to spend £1m on a brand new pitch at Hillsborough and install a new scoreboard this summer.

“They can’t splash the cash now because the transfer window is shut so hopefully this period gives the new owner a bit of time to assess things and get ready for next season,” added Whelan.

Stoke City player Whelan played a big part in Wednesday’s success a decade ago. He memorably scored the third goal in the Owls’ 4-2 victory over ten-man Hartlepool United in the League One Play-Off final at the Millennium Stadium. Forty two thousand Wednesdayites roared the team on to victory in Cardiff.

Wednesday marked the 10-year anniversary of the 2004/05 promotion-winning season on Sunday night by hosting a special ‘Class of 05’ event in the 1867 Lounge at Hillsborough.

Whelan was joined by Lee Bullen, Chris Brunt, Paul Heckingbottom, Graeme Lee, Lee Peacock, Jon-Paul McGovern, Richard Wood and Matt Hamshaw to relive those memories in front of a jam-packed audience.