What does the reaction to Carlos Carvalhal's incredible Dejphon Chansiri tale say about how Sheffield Wednesday is run?

Carlos Carvalhal is rarely a man far from an eyebrow-raising quote or two. And his latest offering has caused concern in the Sheffield Wednesday fanbase.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 5:28 pm

The 54-year-old presided over the most successful two years in Sheffield Wednesday’s recent history and spoke while seemingly bound for Brazilian giants Vasco da Gama after a promising season in Portugal with Rio Ave.

But it is hints at the inner workings of Dejphon Chansiri’s running of the club that have made for sharp intakes of breath in South Yorkshire. Describing how his 2015 move to Wednesday came about, Carvalhal suggested the opinion of Chansiri’s young son was a major factor in his hiring.

The Portuguese said: “I did the interview, I was chosen and, months later, I came to know that who had the last word on my hiring was… the son of the chairman, who would’ve been 10 or 11 years old!

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“He had seen some things on the internet, some press releases in Turkey [where Carvalhal had managed at Besitkas and İstanbul Başakşehir] and some games. The purest reality. The decision of a 10-year-old kid opened the door for my life’s challenge! And at that moment, I felt that I was starting my career seriously.”

Carvalhal was understood to have been in good spirits while telling this tale. Was it a joke? An embellishment? Or ‘the purest reality’? The fact the question is being considered – that it is somehow conceivable that a child plays a part in the hiring of the Sheffield Wednesday manager – raises its own questions.

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The anecdote may well be nonsense, it may have been lost in translation, but within significant sections of the fanbase there has long been a suspicion of Chansiri, his people and his practices.

In happier times: Former Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal with Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri

In recent weeks Chansiri has claimed he is unfairly criticised and inaccurately portrayed by the local media – claiming some sections ‘have an agenda’. The Star is among the news outlets to have been ‘politely declined’ requests for interviews in recent months. Radio and television interviews are understood to be off the table altogether.

Private meetings have been had and how he interacts with the fanbase is entirely his call, of course, but you have to wonder if there’s a vacuum there that has allowed an image to build up.

Previous Carvalhal quotes from October 2017 suggested Chansiri’s loyalty to his players had seen ‘good offers’ rejected and side-tracking in an attempt to clear up these concerns over transfer dealings in a rare interview some two-and-a-half years later, Chansiri expressed his frustration with the media, who he accused of unprofessionalism.

“I expect journalists to be more professional and do their jobs correctly when they are given information,” he told Yorkshire Live.

“It is not fair as journalists can try and influence all the time but clubs cannot answer all the time… If people are not going to believe what I say then there is no point in me answering the questions.”

Perhaps it’s the amount of time and a perceived lack of clarity in between the questions that has become the issue for Dejphon Chansiri’s mysterious image at Sheffield Wednesday. It’s good to talk.